2019: the year citizens speak up and governments act to protect our long-term prosperity

At the end of January, the Night of Ideas, an international event staged simultaneously in Paris, London, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and worldwide, questioned today’s challenges. The French Institute in London explored citizens’ experiences of today’s most talked-about issues: Europe Beyond Walls and The Earth Here and Now. In this blog, Professor Joanna Haigh, Co-Director of the Grantham Institute, reflects on the role that British and … Continue reading 2019: the year citizens speak up and governments act to protect our long-term prosperity

Amazon seen from above with large swathes that have been cleared and are covered in industry

Is Brazil losing the chance to become a climate leader?

Dr Alexandre Koberle, Research Associate at Imperial’s Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment, considers Brazil’s potential to be a climate leader, and the impact of the political crisis. Brazil has been on the news a lot lately, and not for the best reasons. A deep economic crisis has deprived Brazilians of 10% of their income over the past 3 years, some 11 million … Continue reading Is Brazil losing the chance to become a climate leader?

A nurse leans over a small baby, being held by a man, in a small rural hospital

Energy for life – The underestimated component for good healthcare provision

Muriel Hauser, visiting research postgraduate at the Grantham Institute, considers why electricity is so important for healthcare, and how improving access to energy can improve access to healthcare for all people.  Have you ever worried that a blackout might occur when you’re in hospital? That an operation could be interrupted because of a power outage, or that it could be impossible to get an X-ray … Continue reading Energy for life – The underestimated component for good healthcare provision

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?

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

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

Headshots of some leading ladies in climate change and environmental science at Imperial - Helen ApSimon, Ana Mijic, Jenny Nelson, Clementine Chambon, Joanna Haigh, Jess Wade

Leading ladies in climate and environmental science, and why their profile counts

To mark International Women’s Day, archivist Anne Barrett, author of “Women At Imperial College Past Present and Future”, and Alice White, Wikimedian in Residence at the Wellcome Library, have organised a Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thon’ at Imperial College London to create and improve Wikipedia pages about women in science. In this blog, equality advocate Dr Jess Wade, Research Associate in Physics, explains the rationale behind the project, … Continue reading Leading ladies in climate and environmental science, and why their profile counts

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