Dam spans deep river valley, with water gushing out and green-sided hills to either side

The pitfalls of hydroelectric power in drought-prone Africa

Alvaro Lara, former student on the MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance programme, considers Africa’s reliance on hydroelectric power, the impact of climate change on the water cycle and why current plans to invest in more hydroelectric projects may not be a route to energy security. For much of 2017, one of the world’s least-developed countries, Malawi in south-east Africa, experienced intermittent blackouts as a result of … Continue reading The pitfalls of hydroelectric power in drought-prone Africa

Women and boy standing in front of the carbon calculator table, which is laid with different cards.

8 ways to cut your carbon footprint

Liam Flanagan, Research Postgraduate on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP (SSCP DTP), lists his top 8 ways to cut your carbon footprint. Which has a bigger carbon footprint – the United States or Australia[1]? Eggs or cheese[2]? Drying your hands using paper towels or a Dyson Airblade dryer[3]? These are just the sorts of questions that make up the carbon footprint … Continue reading 8 ways to cut your carbon footprint

Labourer taking an afternoon nap

Feeling the heat? So is our economy!

Tarek Cheaib, former student on the Grantham Institute and Imperial College Business School MSc in Climate Change, Management and Finance, considers the impact of heatwaves on the workplace, and why they will have a big impact on the global economy.  It’s easy to see the economic impact of extreme weather events or natural disasters like wildfires or floods. In 2012, for example, Hurricane Sandy forced … Continue reading Feeling the heat? So is our economy!

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?

Volcán de Colima: Insights from Mexico’s fiery volcano

Jack Anderson, a Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP research postgraduate based at London’s Natural History Museum, describes his fieldwork on the highly-active Volcán de Colima in Mexico, and explains the significance of his research. As my Aeroméxico flight begins its descent into Colima, I eagerly position my phone in preparation to capture a first glimpse of its formidable volcano. I am greeted … Continue reading Volcán de Colima: Insights from Mexico’s fiery volcano

Dispatches from the climate debate – thoughts on engaging with climate deniers

Last month, Chris Wells and Kelvin Choi, Research Postgraduates on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, appeared on a panel debate opposite climate sceptics Piers Corbyn and Dr Benny Pieser. Here they share their experiences and suggest some approaches scientists can take when engaging with avid climate deniers. The Invite Last month, we were invited last minute to join a panel debate … Continue reading Dispatches from the climate debate – thoughts on engaging with climate deniers

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

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