Sustainable Gas Futures

Lit gas cooking rings. Credit Michal Osmenda, Wikimedia Commons.

This is a new UK/Brazil collaboration, supported by the Newton Fund for an interdisciplinary programme on sustainable gas for energy.

Sustainable Gas Futures: One consortium project awarded

11 Apr 2016

As part of the UK Newton Fund activities, NERC in collaboration with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) have agreed to support one consortium project.

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Brazil forecasts a 60% growth in domestic energy demand in the next decade. Currently Brazil gets 46% of its energy from renewables, mainly relying on large hydropower and biofuels, and has committed to maintain this percentage of low carbon energy. To meet this target the country will need to increase investment in new renewable energy and other low-carbon technologies, with particular attention to building capacity and research and development.

The UK once had major gas resources, and now is a major user in power, buildings and industry. It has mature and extensive gas infrastructure, the potential for shale gas to come onstream, and challenging emissions reduction targets. Brazil, in contrast, has relatively untapped major gas resources, limited gas infrastructure, and very different demand and natural resource characteristics.

The whole-systems approach to examining the use of gas in the energy system is a UK and NERC strength. This initiative will strengthen partnerships between UK and Brazilian researchers in this field, benefiting both countries, in an area that is central to NERC's new strategy. Brazil recognises that it must develop its gas resources quickly but sustainably. While there will be a major technology element to doing this, it will also depend on environmental science in taking a whole energy systems approach.


2014 - 2018

Can I apply for a grant?

This call is now closed.


The exact level of investment is still to be confirmed. NERC has committed £1·05 million to this programme via the Newton Fund, with matched funding from the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).

Programme Awards

Sustainable Gas Futures (SGF) awards 2015 (PDF, 32KB)

Scoping Workshop for Brazil-UK Cooperation: Developing Collaborations in the area of Sustainable Gas Futures, 25-27 February 2015,
FAPESP, São Paulo, Brazil.

This workshop was hosted by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The primary objective of the workshop was to design a new UK/Brazil interdisciplinary call, supported by the Newton Fund, with a focus on Sustainable Gas Futures.

Over thirty participants from Brazil and the UK, shared ideas and discussed the key science challenges, research effort needed and best routes for delivery. The workshop facilitated networking and discussion enabling researchers to consider key research questions relevant to this call.

Recommendations were made for an integrated programme call, incorporating eight themes:

  1. Gas and Environmental Sustainability
  2. Novel Gas Processing
  3. Innovative Technologies for Natural Gas Production
  4. Infrastructure
  5. Carbon Capture and Storage
  6. Assessment and Evaluation
  7. Bioenergy and Gas
  8. Social License

The workshop agenda, brief biographies of the attendees and the Science and Implementation Plan, which includes a synopsis of the main recommendations from the workshop can be downloaded below:

Agenda (PDF, 188KB)

Science and Implementation Plan (PDF, 625KB)

Attendee list (PDF, 206KB)

NERC has successfully bid for £1·5 million from the Newton fund (where this is 80% of the full economic costs) to fund the research arising from the workshop and the subsequent call. More information on the Newton Fund is available.

It is not a pre-requisite of the subsequent call that the principal or co-investigators attended this event; the call will be open to all those eligible to receive research council funding.