Energy Technologies Institute
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is an energy research and development institute planned to begin operating in the United Kingdom in 2008. It is being set up by the Government following an announcement in the 2006 Budget  The purpose of the Energy Technologies Institute will be to “accelerate the development of secure, reliable and cost-effective low-carbon energy technologies towards commercial deployment”. Deployment of the technologies involved, which are expected to contribute to the reduction of the UK’s carbon emissions, is expected to begin around 2018. It is expected that the Institute will work with a range of academic and commercial bodies.
Commentators have generally welcomed the new body as likely to make a positive contribution in the efforts to minimise climate change. At the same time, they have pointed to the slow pace of government action in promoting energy conservation and implementing the many low-carbon technologies that already exist, compared to progress in a number of other European countries.
In addition to initial funding for the ETI, the Department for Business is to provide funds of £50 million each year over a period of 10 years starting in 2008-09. The Government expects that the separate Energy Research Partnership  will raise matching funding from commercial organisations.
Five objectives have been set for the institute:
- To increase the level of research and development funding to meet the UK’s energy policy goals.
- To deliver research and development that facilitates the rapid commercial deployment of cost-effective, low-carbon energy technologies.
- To provide better strategic focus for commercially applicable energy related research and development in the UK.
- To connect and manage networks of the best scientists and engineers to deliver focussed energy research and development projects to accelerate eventual commercial deployment.
- To build research and development capacity in the UK in the relevant technical disciplines to deliver the UK’s energy policy goals.
The Institute will focus research on a mixture of technologies including:
- Large scale energy supply (likely to include clean coal and carbon capture
- Small scale energy supply (such as distributed generation and microgeneration)
- End-use efficiency and demand management (priority areas)
- Sustainable transport fuels (a priority area)
- Energy infrastructure and supply
At the same time, the Institute also expects to focus on a mix of technologies to increase security of supply, and solutions to address fuel poverty.
Historically, public sector support for energy research and development in the UK has been provided by a variety of bodies with little co-ordination between them. Problems experienced as a result of this included poor continuity of funding, and the availability of funding for certain parts of the research-development-commercialisation process but not others. Funding levels have also been low by international standards.
In September 2007 it was announced that the Midlands Consortium had been chosen to host the Institute. The Consortium comprises the Universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Nottingham with financial support from Advantage West Midlands and the East Midlands Development Agency. The hub of the ETI will be based at Loughborough University, on the Holywell Park area of the campus, at the heart of the University's Science and Enterprise Park, and brings with it up to 50 new jobs in the region.