Sir Vince Cable visits Aston’s European Bioenergy Research Institute

VC and Sir Vince Cable

21 June 2018

  • Sir Vince Cable visits Aston University’s Bioenergy Research Institute

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Vince Cable, on Tuesday 19 June, visited Aston University’s European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI), whilst on a visit to Birmingham.

Sir Vince was welcomed to EBRI by Aston’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alec Cameron before he was introduced to EBRI Director, Professor Anthony Bridgwater and Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of School of Engineering and Applied Science, Professor Sarah Hainsworth.

Sir Vince was given a tour of the EBRI laboratories and power plant, before being shown the Institute’s electric car, which is also the UK’s first electric vehicle that can put power back into the grid – a technology known as Vehicle-to-Grid.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alec Cameron said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Sir Vince to Aston and to show him our research on electric car technology based at our European Bioenergy Research Institute.

“EBRI’s cutting edge research in the electric car industry is significant as the Government announced it will end the sale of new conventional diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040.”

VC Sir Vince EBRI
Sir Vince Cable meeting the VC and members of EAS and EBRI, Aston University

EBRI Director, Professor Anthony Bridgwater said: “We are delighted Sir Vince was able to see first-hand our Vehicle-to-Grid technology.

“The projects here at EBRI represent a significant step towards the transition to low-carbon transportation and a smart energy system.

“Allowing electric vehicles (EV) to return energy to the power grid when parked and plugged for charging will increase grid resilience, allow for better exploitation of renewable sources and lower the cost of ownership for EV owners.”

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of School of Engineering and Applied Science, Professor Sarah Hainsworth said: “We were really pleased to be able to show Sir Vince our research in bioenergy and our work in developing the regional energy supply chain. Here we are working closely with business to translate difficult academic concepts through masterclasses.

“These interventions enable businesses to make key strategic decisions that facilitate business growth.”

The aim of the Vehicle-to-Grid Intelligent Control (VIGIL) project is to develop, build and demonstrate a new communication and control platform for electric vehicle (EV) and electricity system management by collaborative innovations of Vehicle-to-Grid/Building (V2G/V2B) technologies.

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston aims to improve the efficiency, economic viability and resilience of local energy systems by researching and developing business protocols for low carbon, heating network connections, vehicle to grid electric vehicle charging with battery storage, and the high value demand response balancing markets.


Notes to the editor 

Photos (click links to download)

 About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

 Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and our students do extremely well in securing top jobs and careers.  Our strong relationships with industry partners mean we understand the needs of employers, which is why we are also ranked in the top 20 for graduate employability.

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