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?

Downing Street Sign City of Westminster London, UK

The Clean Growth Strategy – a turn in the right direction for a low carbon future

Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation at the Grantham Institute, mulls over the government’s Clean Growth Strategy and looks ahead to the next steps. Good things come to those who wait. After nearly a year of anticipation, the UK Government finally launched its Clean Growth Strategy on 12 October. Was it worth the wait? It certainly shows commitment to green growth, embedding climate change … Continue reading The Clean Growth Strategy – a turn in the right direction for a low carbon future

Graphic showing a plane flying with a "Business as usual" banner

What does business-as-usual mean today?

Energy models are a vital tool to help predict what the future energy system could look like. Conventionally, such models are based on business-as-usual scenarios – points of reference informed by historical norms. However, the energy transition is already underway: basing future energy models on such scenarios could be highly risky. Following an energy modelling workshop with academics, industry leaders and policymakers, research postgraduates Jonathan … Continue reading What does business-as-usual mean today?

China is entering a new era of climate change mitigation and environmental protection

Professor Yufeng Yang from the Energy Research Institute (ERI) of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China, joined the Grantham Institute as a Research Fellow in June 2017. For the next few months, he will be working here on global energy governance and energy storage, in close collaboration with Neil Hirst, Senior Policy Fellow for Energy and Mitigation. In this blog, he considers the … Continue reading China is entering a new era of climate change mitigation and environmental protection

Solar heat water heater and chimney

Could solar-thermal be the solution for low-carbon heating?

Well-established solar heat technologies could be playing a key role in creating a sustainable future energy system and meeting an increasing global demand for energy, according to our latest briefing paper. “Solar-thermal and hybrid photovoltaic-thermal systems for renewable heating” looks at the continuing potential of this technology and what stands in the way. Dr Alexander Mellor, Research Associate in the Department of Physics and co-author of … Continue reading Could solar-thermal be the solution for low-carbon heating?