Sunday, February 19, 2012

Public Lecture on 'Towards a low carbon transition for the energy system', Feb 23, 2012

Towards a low carbon transition

for the energy system


Engineering Distinguished Lecture by Prof Geoffrey P Hammond
Date:23 Feb 2012
Time:17:00 - 18:00

Venue: T4, Meng Wah Complex, HKU

Speaker: Professor Geoffrey P Hammond
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Founder Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (I-SEE) University of Bath, UK

Energy sources of various kinds not only affect human development, but also put at risk the quality and longer-term viability of the biosphere as a result of unwanted, 'second order' effects. These side effects give rise to potential environmental hazards on a local, regional and global scale. Consequently balancing economic and social development with environmental protection is at the heart of the notion of sustainable development. Electricity generation contributes a large proportion of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the United Kingdom (UK), due to the predominant use of fossil fuel (coal and natural gas) inputs. Indeed, the various power sector technologies [fossil fuel plants with and without carbon capture and storage (CCS), nuclear power stations, and renewable energy technologies (available on a large and small {or domestic}scale)] all involve differing environmental impacts and other risks. Three UK transition pathways for a more electric future out to 2050 have therefore been evaluated in terms of their life-cycle energy and environmental performance within a broader sustainability framework, applied on a ‘whole systems’ basis (from ‘cradle-to-gate’). It highlights the significance of ‘upstream emissions’ and their technological and policy implications. Lessons for the wider international energy community will be drawn based on this UK experience.

Professor Geoffrey Hammond is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Founder Director of the University of Bath's Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (I-SEE), and also holds an Honorary Professorship in Sustainable Bioenergy at the University of Nottingham. His current research is focused on the technology assessment of energy systems and transitional pathways towards a low carbon future. He is the joint recipient of the Dufton Silver Medal and the George Stephenson Prize for publications in his field.

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