Britain is at the forefront of energy system transformation. In 2018, 53% of electricity consumed came from low-carbon generators, up from 25% in 2009. As a result, carbon intensity halved from nearly 500 to 217 gCO2/MWh (Electric Insights). However, as an island with limited interconnection to its neighbours, the stakes are particularly high to achieve further reductions down to 100 gco2/MWh by 2030 (Fifth Carbon Budget).
At the same time, me and fellow PhD students miss the exchange amongst us as well as with other academic, industry and policy experts on energy system transformation. What is missing is a closeknit energy system community that can easily discuss transformation pathways.
By Shiladitya Ghosh, 2nd Year PhD Student, Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London
In the modern day, students (especially PhD students) tend to have a crippling fear of committing to future plans because – “what if I end up needing those extra days to finish this report or do repeats for my experiments?” As the 2018 edition of the Imperial – Tsinghua Global Fellows Programme (GFP) on Climate Change and Energy drew near, I too had misgivings. Who was going to write my reports for me?!
However, a change in setting and scenery helps to calm and settle the mind – and I experienced this upon landing in Beijing in the sweltering 36°C early morning sun.
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims, the warming of the climate system is unequivocally supported by scientific evidence. It is a vital task of human beings to work out practical solutions and put them into real effect in this century. This year, the Imperial-Tsinghua Global Fellows Programme, co-organized by Imperial College London and Tsinghua University, focused on climate change and energy, through 5 days of intense communications and collaborations amongst early stage Ph.D. students in multiple disciplines from both universities. As a third year PhD candidate in finance, I was honoured to be part of the programme.
by Ruth Davey – Year 2 PhD Student from Earth Science & Engineering
I signed up to the programme back in the Spring, thinking it sounded like a unique opportunity to collaborate with students from China so I was very excited to find out I’d been accepted! As the programme date drew closer however, I became bogged down with several unexpected and large workloads relating to my PhD research. I began to wonder if losing a week of research time was such a great idea. As it was, I arrived at the coach on Monday afternoon with some trepidation. My worries were quickly dispelled and, as the course evolved, it made me so aware of how much we, as PhD students, become isolated in our own research bubble.