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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?

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Researchers need to reach out to other disciplines to face up to the challenges of climate change

Healthy People, Healthy Planet is a challenge team formed by students from the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) Doctoral Training Partnership.  Team members, Hiral Shah, Rebecca Thomas, Jonathan Bosch, Branwen Snelling and Rowan Schley, discuss why climate change and global health go hand in hand.  “Tackling climate change could be the biggest global health opportunity of the twenty first century.” This message, … Continue reading Researchers need to reach out to other disciplines to face up to the challenges of climate change

We know carbon capture and storage (CCS) works – Now it’s time to act

A comprehensive report released yesterday outlines a critical role for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Dr Iain Macdonald, Head of Imperial’s Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage (IC4S), explains why this technology is vital – and why there’s still time for the UK to lead the world on CCS. Our government has been dragging its feet on carbon capture … Continue reading We know carbon capture and storage (CCS) works – Now it’s time to act

Balance of power: How Brexit would affect the UK energy sector  

In under a week, UK voters will decide the fate of the country in a referendum over Britain’s continuing membership of the European Union (EU). Grantham Research Associate Dr Sheridan Few explores some potential implications of exiting the EU for the UK energy sector. Issues such as the economy and immigration are key battle grounds for EU referendum campaigners, but UK voters’ final decision will … Continue reading Balance of power: How Brexit would affect the UK energy sector  

Apollo has landed: the role of the private sector in completing the race for 100% renewables

Dr Charles Donovan and Christopher Corbishley discuss the falling cost of renewables. In the lead-up to the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris, there was a lot of buzz in the mainstream business press about the need for research and development that could lead to breakthroughs in the cost of clean energy technologies. Over the summer, Financial Times commentator Martin Wolf called for a “moonshot … Continue reading Apollo has landed: the role of the private sector in completing the race for 100% renewables

UK climate and energy policy at a crossroads

  Energy Secretary Amber Rudd announced today that UK coal power stations will be phased out by 2025, favouring new gas-fired power stations to take their place in the country’s energy mix. The news has been seen by many as the latest in a string of controversial energy policy decisions taken by the Conservative government that have the potential to undermine climate targets. Alyssa Gilbert, … Continue reading UK climate and energy policy at a crossroads

Methanol: Fuelling the future

There’s been a lot of talk about a hypothetical hydrogen economy, but what if methanol was the fuel of choice? SSCP-DTP student Alexandra Hicken discovers how methanol can be produced sustainably in the last blog in our sustainability series. Much research has been carried out into the possibility of using hydrogen for the generation and redistribution of energy under a system called the hydrogen economy. Despite … Continue reading Methanol: Fuelling the future