The second of Energy CDT Network Annual Conferences took place in 18th – 19th September 2013 in London hosted by Imperial College London. LoLo CDT students; Ozlem Duran, Mike Fell, Louis Fifield, Ed Sharp, Henry Witt and Selin Yilmaz attended and presented their work. It was a good opportunity to meet many other peers from other energy doctoral training centres across UK and Energy Futures Lab of Imperial College and learn about their research.
The event started on 18th September Wednesday afternoon with a workshop of “Networking Skills” delivered by Piero Vitelli from Island 41. How and how not to network was discussed over questions, stories and experiences engaging the participants very actively in the discussions so as to practise their newly acquired skills in the evening.
The workshop was followed by a panel discussion: “The cost of electricity in 2050: Expert discussion”. The panel was chaired by Professor Jim Skea, the Chair in Sustainable Energy in Imperial College London. The panellists were Malcolm Grimston, Associate Fellow of Chatham House, Steve Hargreaves as the Corporate Strategy Director of EDF Energy, Dr David Kennedy as the Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change and Dr Paul Fennel, senior lecturer in Clean Energy at Imperial College London. It was mentioned that UK has the challenge of reducing the carbon dioxide emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050 and another challenge is ensuring secure and low-cost energy in the next decades. The questions to the panellist focused mainly on the energy efficiency in UK houses and the role and the feasibility of the carbon capture and storage on reducing the emissions. Dr. Paul Fennel as the deputy director of Imperial College’s Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage indicated that CCS is not a new or emerging technology and there are decades of operational experience from industrial-scale CCS projects. Another keynote from the panel is that the behaviour of the next two generations will play an important role in meeting the reduction targets. The students presented their poster work after the panel discussion to 260 guests in the panel.
The second day of the conference started with a keynote lecture given byProfessor Paul Ekins, UCL where he presented the trajectories, uncertainties and controversies of the UK Energy Supply to 2050. The questions to Professor Paul Ekins were mainly about the shale gas and the possible implications of the shale gas production in UK as the industry is now lobbying for it since it is believed that UK gas prices will reduce as it did in the United States. Paul Ekins indicated that there are uncertainties associated with the cost that may or may not be competitive with the current UK price of gas, differences between the UK and the US geology and politics. There are environmental concerns that the shale gas without CCS cannot be used in the UK at scale as it would without violate the UK’s carbon dioxide emission targets.
The lecture was followed by students from the Energy CDT Network. 3 presenters were grouped into a theme such as Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and CO2 Reduction, Energy Storage and Systems, Nuclear and there were presentations from the MSc students in Sustainable Energy Future of Imperial College. Louis Fifield from Loughborough University did a presentation on the “Future for Low Carbon Hospitals?”. During the presentations, graphic facilitator Eleanor Beer did a fascinating job capturing the talks by drawing them on a whiteboard.
Article written by Selin Yilmaz