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

Group photo of energy ministers at the IEA Ministerial, Nov 2017

Now we can have a genuinely global energy body

While the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) has been going on in Bonn, another international meeting – also significant for climate change and environment issues – took place in Paris. Neil Hirst, Senior Policy Fellow at the Grantham Institute, explains why the International Energy Agency’s Ministerial Meeting was an important step forwards for climate change mitigation.   While talks continue at this year’s climate … Continue reading Now we can have a genuinely global energy body

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?

Energy Utopia: What stands in the way of smart, clean, affordable, customer-led energy?

Last year, Dr Jeffrey Hardy took a career break from his role as Head of Sustainable Energy Futures at Ofgem and joined the Grantham Institute as a Senior Research Fellow. He has been imagining a future where your relationship with your energy company is different to the present, and why new business models must put customers in the driving seat of the low-carbon transformation. Here he … Continue reading Energy Utopia: What stands in the way of smart, clean, affordable, customer-led energy?