Photo showing destroyed village - lots of debris, cables and collapsed houses

The future of power in Japan: Connecting life-saving disaster resilience with a low-carbon energy system

Hamish Beath, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, undertook a research placement at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. In this blog, he considers the future of Japan’s power sector, and why disaster resilience and low-carbon energy go hand in hand. At 2.46pm, on 11 March 2011, the biggest earthquake ever to hit Japan struck 80 miles off the … Continue reading The future of power in Japan: Connecting life-saving disaster resilience with a low-carbon energy system

Heindl’s Gravity Storage - graphic showing a huge mass of rock in a cylinder, held up by water

Gravity – the solution to energy storage?

Oliver Schmidt, research postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP who is funded by the Grantham Institute, recently authored a report analysing the costs of gravity-based energy storage options. In this blog, he considers why harnessing the power of gravity could revolutionise energy storage in the future. Lithium-ion batteries seem to be used everywhere – from tablets and smart phones, to electric … Continue reading Gravity – the solution to energy storage?

Cover of the CCC Progress to Parliament report 2018

How can the UK get back on track? 4 simple messages for the Government from the CCC

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Chair of the Grantham Institute and member of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), considers the 2018 Progress Report to Parliament, and why it’s the most hard-hitting yet. Last month, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) launched its 2018 Progress Report to Parliament. Under the 2008 Climate Change Act, the CCC produces annual reports that chart UK progress in reducing greenhouse … Continue reading How can the UK get back on track? 4 simple messages for the Government from the CCC

The energy conundrum: Bringing carbon under control and reversing rising emissions

Neil Hirst, Senior Policy Fellow at the Grantham Institute and author of The Energy Conundrum, Climate Change, Global Prosperity, and the Tough Decisions We Have to Make, considers the outlook for global energy and how to bring rising carbon emissions under control. Twenty-five years ago, the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty was set up to tackle the causes of global … Continue reading The energy conundrum: Bringing carbon under control and reversing rising emissions

Plane at cruising altitude against blue sky

Aviation, heavy industry and energy: 3 sectors ripe for a tech revolution

The technologies of a zero-carbon future, according to Research Postgraduate Jonathan Bosch, co-author of a report for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on key technological innovations for a low-carbon economy. There’s too much carbon! United States aside, climate scientists and policy makers don’t argue much these days about the pressure to take steps to safeguard the prosperity of the earth for future … Continue reading Aviation, heavy industry and energy: 3 sectors ripe for a tech revolution

Small solar panel on the floor in an African village, Madagascar

Forget about power lines, Pay-As-You-Go is transforming Africa’s energy landscape

Alvaro Lara and Sidney Wakaba, students on the MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance programme, put the spotlight on electricity access for communities in rural Africa, and consider how off-grid solar systems are revolutionising Africa’s energy sector. For most people in Europe and North America, a life without electricity is difficult to imagine.  A day without charging our iPhones, grabbing something to eat from the fridge, or … Continue reading Forget about power lines, Pay-As-You-Go is transforming Africa’s energy landscape

Canada shown on a cheap globe

Canada and climate change: the transition to a low-carbon economy is a golden opportunity

Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation at the Grantham Institute, heads to the “energy engine” of Canada to talk climate change, cleantech and collaboration. This week I am heading to Canada, where I grew up, for the first time in six years. I am very excited about returning to Canadian soil (er, or snow), and particularly interested to meet a range of people involved … Continue reading Canada and climate change: the transition to a low-carbon economy is a golden opportunity

The future of the electricity utility – decision time for US stakeholders

Last month, Grantham Affiliates Dr Jeffrey Hardy and Dr Chris Mazur travelled to Chicago to run a ‘Decision Theatre’ workshop with participants from the US energy supply chain as part of the Utility 2050 project. Here, they consider the findings of the workshop, the differences across the pond, and the potential for collaboration. The Utility 2050 project, originally conceived by the Energy Research Partnership, offers … Continue reading The future of the electricity utility – decision time for US stakeholders

Van on Yellowknife Ice Road, Northwest Territories, Canada

Getting renewable electricity to Canada’s remote communities

Alvaro Lara, a student on the MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance programme, considers the challenges faced by off-grid communities in Canada, why climate change threatens their status quo, and how renewables could hold the key to a reliable power supply. Colville Lake is about as remote as you can get in Canada. Located 50km north of the Arctic circle and with a population of only … Continue reading Getting renewable electricity to Canada’s remote communities

What to do with all the carbon dioxide?

Research Postgraduates Clara Heuberger and Clea Kolster, who recently attended the UNFCCC’s 23rd Conference of the Parties in Bonn, consider the significant potential of  carbon dioxide removal technologies, and the barriers they face.  A recent report published by the UN highlighted that, last year, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at record speed, hitting a level not seen for more than three … Continue reading What to do with all the carbon dioxide?