Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)


Richard Blanchard

Dr Richard Blanchard

Reader in Renewable Energy

Tel: +44 (0)1509 227190

Location: MBG.0.J14, Garendon Wing, Holywell Park

Richard is a Reader in Renewable Energy specialising in energy for development and bioenergy. His energy research encompasses the role of renewable energy in development (microgrids), bioenergy systems (hybrid and microgeneration), and sustainability topics such as lifecycle and environmental impact assessment e.g. ocean energy systems.

External Profile

Fellow of Higher Education Academy.
Senior Member of Institution of Electronic and Electrical Engineers
Member of the World Society of Sustainable Energy Technologies
Member of Engineers Without Borders
Examiner for the European Master's in Renewable Energy
External Examiner University of Nottingham
Reviewer for Elsevier, UKIERI, BBSRC, Wiley
International Scientific Committee for conferences including IconSWM, WESII

Richard was awarded his PhD in Strategic Environmental Assessment of Renewable Energy Policy in 1998 by Aberystwyth University. By this time, he lectured on BSc and MSc programmes with a focus on environmental technologies at Suffolk College, Ipswich. In December 2002 he joined Loughborough University as Flexible and Distance Learning Coordinator to develop the distance learning version of the MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology. He is now a Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy.

Richard is also an examiner on the European Master's in Renewable Energy and is an external examiner at the University of Nottingham. He has been involved in numerous projects funded by EPSRC, British Council and the European Commission.

With colleagues he is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Institution of Civil Engineers Baker Medal for work on microgeneration technology. In 2015, with colleagues he won the ACPI European e-learning prize, and in 2016 was a finalist for the Times Higher Education Awards, for work on remote laboratories.

Research interests are in bioenergy systems, energy for development, sustainability (including life-cycle assessment), and e-learning. Between 2008-2010 Richard was part of EPSRC project UK-India Energy Technologies Network. Subsequently this consortium successfully bid to the Bridging the Urban Rural Divide programme jointly funded by RCUK and DST India with a project called Rural Hybrid Energy and Enterprise Systems worth £2.5million EP/J000361/1. He is part of the £400k Solar Nano-Grids: An appropriate solution for meeting community needs? Project EP/L002612/1 that has received further support to develop sustainable business processed. In addition, Richard has received UKIERI and Newton funding from the British Council for biogas production from market / food waste in India, and also Thailand.

Presently, Richard is part of the Newton funded Technical Innovation in Solar and Water project with University of Bahrain and the Joint UK-India Energy Centre (JUICE) project EP/P003605/1 with flexi-funding to install novel batteries in a microgrid in Rajasthan. In addition, he is the university PI of the InnovateUK Energy Catalyst 6 Productive Use of DC Solar Power in Africa to Improve the Quality of Rural Life project EP/T005424/1. Furthermore, he is technical work package lead for the major £38.9M Modernising Energy Cooking Services programme (2019-2024) funded by DfID,  see https://mecs.org.uk

Current PhDs

Ricardo Narvaez – Advanced thermo-conversion of municipal solid waste in Ecuador
Nutchapon Chiarasumuran - LCA of energy production from municipal solid waste
Joe Calverley – Process intensification of bioethanol purification
Chrispin Mbewe – Micro-grid battery performance in tropical environments
Muhammad Yadudu – Increased revenue generation for distribution companies in Nigeria through the application of renewable energy
Ali Arabi – Renewable energy and demand side management for Libyan power network

Past PhDs supervised

Dr Farhad Anvari Azar - Evaluating domestic energy consumption for district energy solutions
Dr Esther Phiri -Role of renewable energy in providing water services in rural Malawi
Dr Abdul Muhaimin Mahmud - Evaluation of school solar micro-grids in Malaysia
Dr Collen Zalengera – The role of renewable energy in sustainable livelihoods, Malawi.
Dr Mahmoud Abdulwahed - Pedagogy of remote labs
Dr Subhashish Banerjee - Ocean energy assessment

A former MSc student Ken Aldonza scooped the $200,000 IDEAS Award prize for work based on his research project on ethanol production from banana waste for St Lucia.

Richard has been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2001 and holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.
In 2009 he was awarded a Loughborough University Academic Practice Award to develop enquiry-based learning in online tutorials to support the distance learning MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology. In 2011 he was successful in a bid to the university Distance Learning Enhancement Fund to develop a remotely controlled laboratory experiment in photovoltaic module characterisation. In 2014 with Dr Sheryl Williams he was awarded a Loughborough University Teaching Innovation Award to evaluate student experiences in the use of the remote laboratory. 
Current teaching includes:
ELB013 Project Management
ELC003 Renewable Energy Sources
ELD531 Sustainability and Energy Systems
ELD536 Biomass
Part C/D projects
ELP031/ELP631 Sustainability and Energy Systems
ELP036/ELP636 Biomass
ELP045/ELP645 MSc Projects

View all Dr Blanchard’s publications in the central publications database

Bioenergy, Energy Conservation and Sustainability, Renewable Energy Systems