Our work on Goal 7

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Affordable and Clean Energy

Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

As one of the world’s leading research institutions and the UK’s first university to have social responsibility as a core goal, we’re tackling the SDGs in four inter-related ways: through our research, learning and students, public engagement activity and operations.

Here’s a selection of our work addressing Goal 7.


Innovation research

Our Digital Futures network of 1,500 researchers across 30 disciplines is working with citizens, businesses and government to help understand and drive digital innovation.

We’re part of Health Innovation Manchester – an integrated ecosystem to discover, develop and deploy new solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of Greater Manchester’s 2.8 million citizens.

Our Henry Royce Institute is a UK national institute for advanced materials research and innovation. Our National Graphene Institute and Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre provide an innovation ecosystem to research and develop graphene and other 2D material applications in areas such as energy storage, nanomedicine and water purification.

Energy research beacon

Energy is one of our five research beacons and we have more than 600 academics addressing sustainable energy challenges.

Our On Energy publication is a collection of thought-leadership pieces from a selection of our staff, bringing together expert commentary, analysis and policy recommendations on issues such as climate change, fuel poverty, energy storage, and the economic viability of nuclear power and multi-energy systems.


Learning and students

Manchester Energy and Environment Society

Our student-led Manchester Energy and Environment Society brings energy-related events to the University.

It also bridges the gap between students and academics working in renewable energy and the environment through networking and sharing knowledge on renewable and low carbon energy.

Venture Further

Our £75,000 annual Venture Further start-up competition is for all current students, researchers and recent graduates.

One of the competition’s categories is for business ideas aligned to SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy.


Public engagement

FutureDAMS Approach

As part of our world-leading FutureDAMS programme, we’ve produced a guide (PDF) to propose a series of steps and principles for conducting public, private and community stakeholder engagement in decision-making around water-energy-food-environment (WEFE) interventions.

This is underpinned by the principle that better decisions are generated when a broad range of stakeholders are included in a genuinely participatory manner.

Energy poverty

Our researchers have established a framework to explain how domestic energy deprivation affects households and communities.

Through a prolific programme of European-wide engagement – 100 events, 200 high-level presentations, ten policy briefs, two sets of EU member state energy poverty reports, and three pan-EU energy poverty reports – our research shaped the policy direction of the European Commission’s Vulnerable Consumer Working Group, the body responsible for developing EU energy policy.



Tracking Low Carbon Energy Use

Each year we track the amount of low carbon energy used across the University. For example in 2021/22 academic year we used 583GJ from low carbon sources. This comprised of energy from wind, solar, nuclear, solar thermal and ground source heat pumps.

Renewable energy pledge

100% of our electricity consumption is backed with REGO (‘Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin’) certification. This means that for every megawatt (or 1,000kWh) of electricity the University consumes, the equivalent volume of electricity is generated from renewable sources.

We encourage our staff, students and our local community to make a similar move to renewable energy suppliers!