Loughborough University-led clean energy research programme to support global leaders’ Green Grids Initiative

Researchers from the Loughborough University-led Climate Compatible Growth programme will play an integral part in the global Green Grids Initiative, a collation of the willing, which was launched yesterday at COP26 by world leaders as part of a new partnership with India’s One Sun One World One Grid.

The Green Grids Initiative will bring together governments, legislators, civil society, business leaders, regulators, transmission system operators and international organisations to accelerate the construction of the new infrastructure needed for a world that is powered by clean energy. Its founder, the Climate Parliament – an international, multi-partisan network of legislators working worldwide to help solve the climate crisis and accelerate the transition to renewable energy – forms part of the joint Secretariat with the UK and the International Solar Alliance. 

Loughborough University-led Climate Compatible Growth (CCG) is part of a partnership of organisations working on the Green Grids Initiative with Climate Parliament. CCG will undertake research and provide global public goods to help countries develop economic strategies, plans and policies that will attract investment into low-carbon growth opportunities across multiple sectors.

On Friday 5 November, CCG will present a research report, undertaken in collaboration with a working group of the COP26 Energy Transition Council. The report explores how climate finance can be mobilised to meet the large investments needed in grid infrastructure across emerging and developing economies. The paper will be presented as part of a series of CCG COP26 side events at Strathclyde University.

Nicholas Dunlop, Secretary General of the Climate Parliament, explains the Green Grids Initiative. “There is more than enough clean energy to power the world economy, if we build the right grids. A tiny fraction of the world’s deserts, covered with solar power stations, could produce all the electricity the world uses today. Existing hydro dams, together with batteries, can help to balance fluctuations in wind and sun.

“To ensure a reliable supply of affordable, clean energy, new long-distance grids are needed to connect the most energy-rich locations across borders and time zones. Meanwhile, mini-grids can help communities to harness their local energy resources, bringing electricity to off-grid villages, and ensuring a more resilient supply during the heat waves, storms and floods that are now striking all parts of the planet.”

Plans for the Green Grids Initiative and partnership with One Sun One World One Grid were announced in May 2021 by the UK and Indian Prime Ministers, as part of a shared roadmap to 2030 to tackle climate change. The roadmap includes a package of measures to help limit global temperature rise, support communities that are vulnerable to climate change impacts, protect forests and lead the development of resilient infrastructure in vulnerable countries.

In parallel to the official announcement at COP26 by the Prime Ministers from the UK and India, Climate Parliament hosted a global virtual event to launch the Global Grids Initiative. Speakers included Professor Yacob Mulugetta from University College London, representing the Climate Compatible Growth programme; Grammy-award winning singer and activist Angelique Kidjo; Alexandria Villaseñor, co-Founder of the US Youth Climate Strike and Founder of Earth Uprising; and Leader of the Australian Greens Party, Adam Bandt MP.

CCG is a multi-million-pound programme, funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, to support investment in sustainable energy and transport systems to meet development priorities in the Global South. Working with national and international research partners, including the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and Imperial College London, CCG will deliver the energy and transport system tools and decision support frameworks needed to make green transitions possible in developing countries. The Climate Parliament forms part of the CCG consortium, helping to connect world leading research into energy access and interconnection with decision makers.

CCG is one of two flagship projects within Loughborough University’s Centre for Sustainable Transitions: Energy, Environment and Resilience (STEER). STEER, which has been funded by the Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), as part of the UK’s foreign aid programme, will be formally launched on 4 November in parallel to COP26. To attend the event online, register on the CCG website.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 21/235

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022, and 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2022 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.