How can engineering degrees attract more women?

How to inspire girls about studying engineering at university and explore where it could take them?

“We don’t have a car or a bit of a train hanging from the ceiling in our department,” says Dr Claire Lucas, director of studies for systems and biomedical engineering at the University of Warwick. “We’re making face masks at the minute, and we’ve got other humanitarian engineering, such as a shaking bridge that helps us with earthquake modelling. It helps visiting prospective students rethink what engineering really is.”

That rethink is necessary if the broad subject area of engineering is to appeal to more women. Although 35% of those studying Stem subjects at university are female, the proportion falls to 19% in engineering and technology.

Read the whole article here.

British battery storage sector takes a ‘big step’ as ministers remove size limit barriers

Barriers have been removed allowing for battery storage projects five times the size as the current limit in Britain, in a move hailed as a “significant, positive and well-timed” step.

Schematic of the 50MW / 250MWh liquid air CRYOBattery project. Image: Highview Power.

Secondary legislation was passed by ministers today (14 July) that will allow for projects above 50MW in England and 350MW in Wales.

The move could triple the number of battery storage projects on the grid according to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It is hoped that removing the barrier will help to encourage bolder investment decisions, allowing more batteries to balance the grid as the number of intermittent renewables continues to grow.

Read the full article here.

REA sets out plans for a successful Green Recovery as the Prime Minister outlines initial support package

The REA has published a report setting out renewable energy and clean technology stimulus policies that will achieve a fair and inclusive economic recovery in line with our legally binding Net Zero targets.

The report, published in the same week that the Government announced the first stage of the UK economic recovery, advocates for an economic recovery rooted in green stimulus packages and policies. Addressing demands for immediate action as well as the need for longer term initiatives, the report sets out a variety of timely and costed policies. This includes those designed to bear fruit within 12-18 months as well as longer term options taking place over 18-36 months. The full report is available here.

Ahead of the Chancellor’s forthcoming stimulus package next week, the REA is calling on the Government to prioritise;

  • low-carbon power and heat generation in new homes and retrofit energy efficiency measure into existing homes, as well as more funding for regular CfD auctions for clean electricity
  • reform the tax system to enable the low-carbon transition, particularly Business Rates and VAT,
  • And fund Local Authorities to take actions locally to meet Net-Zero by upgrading local Government buildings estates, such as schools, offices, hospitals and care homes and make the transition to a Circular economy

Creating low-carbon homes and reforming the tax system alone would create 176,000 new jobs, save consumers £270 on bills annually and generate a net value to the UK economy of £7.5 billion – a 50% increase on the £5 billion pledged for the recovery this week.

As the only trade association working across renewable heat, transport, power and the circular economy, the report takes a pan-technology approach to achieving a successful Green Recovery. In doing so, the report is able to identify cross-cutting, high impact policies that are essential to the economic recovery of the UK. These policies, if implemented, would bolster the economy through the creation sophisticated industries and supply chains boasting thousands of highly skilled jobs across the entire of the UK.

Please read the full article here.

E.On secures £3.9m for ‘smart, personalised and sustainable’ heat pump pilot project

E.On has secured £3.9 million to instal heat pumps around Newcastle, as one of the winning schemes forming part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS’s) ‘Electrification of Heat’ project.

Together with Newcastle City Council, the company will install 250 heat pumps in suitable homes across Newcastle-upon-Tyne in an effort to tackle the barrier to their adoption.

“Working with BEIS and Newcastle City Council, we’ll demonstrate that heat pumps are one of the smart, personalised and sustainable solutions that will help us in meeting that challenge.”

The heat pumps will be installed alongside a range of innovative secondary technologies, such as thermal stores, said E.On. The project will help to demonstrate what is needed for a more widescale rollout of heat pumps.

Please find the full article here.

Collaboration of the Supergen Network+ with Dr Margarita Nyfoudi

We are delighted to announce our collaboration with Dr Margarita Nyfoudi to examine EDI in our community. Margarita is a Lecturer in Human Resource Management & Organisational Behaviour at the University of Birmingham. She has extensive expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, analysing organisational problems and offering comprehensive and inclusive business solutions.

Her experience will guide us to identify and explore current EDI failures and successes within the energy storage community and develop pathways for improvement and best practice.

Supergen Storage

Decarbonisation pathways for South Wales

Regen, along with project partners Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Wales & West Utilities, worked together to develop an integrated approach to electricity and gas scenario planning, funded by the Network Innovation Allowance.

The analysis produced a set of joint electricity and gas net zero 2050 scenarios covering WPD and Wales & West Utilities’ shared distribution network region in South Wales, and explores a range of possible futures for our electricity and gas distribution networks.  The main output of the project is a dataset of scenario projections provided to inform network planning and investment for WPD and Wales & West Utilities. You can find out more about the project here.

A summary report accompanies the dataset and describes key insights from the process, the approach taken in the analysis and the key assumptions and methodologies used for each technology and sector, as well as an overview and commentary of the results.

A separate learning report has been produced focusing on the learnings from developing an integrated approach to DFES and recommendations for further development.

Net Zero South Wales Data Report

Net Zero South Wales Learning Report

More information can be found here.

Construction begins on world’s biggest liquid air battery

Construction of the World’s largest liquid air battery starts! The liquid air energy storage plant will store renewable electricity and reduce carbon emissions from fossil-fuel power plants.

Highview Power, Pilsworth liquid air energy storage plant, Greater Manchester, UK
Highview Power’s Pilsworth liquid air energy storage plant in Greater Manchester has received a £10m grant from the UK government. Photograph: Highview Power

The plant will use spare green energy to compress air into a liquid and store it. When demand is higher, the liquid air is released back into a gas, powering a turbine that puts the green energy back into the grid. The new liquid air battery, being developed by Highview Power, is due to be operational in 2022 in Greater Manchester, UK.

The full article can be seen here.

Big Ideas “Transition to a Sustainable Zero Pollution Economy” – Survey and Workshops

EPSRC’s Science, Engineering and Technology Board (SETB) have asked Imperial College London to develop a Big Ideas proposal ‘Transition to a Sustainable Zero Pollution Economy’ with the wider UK research community. We want to hear from a broad range of stakeholders on where you see the challenges in this area.

Our aim is for Transition to Zero Pollution to support the research and innovation needed to solve the issues presented by pollution, including CO2, capitalising on the UK’s international leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and extending this to the broader challenge of global environmental pollution.

We would like you to identify the key research challenge and up to two associated research, training or translation ‘needs’ for the transition to zero pollution so that the UK can achieve this in a fair, cost effective, resource efficient and timely way. The challenges identified should be areas that research, including training or test/demonstration activities, can address. The solutions developed by Transition to Zero Pollution should take a holistic view and avoid future unintended consequences and negative global impacts – accounting for impacts on society, health and the environment as a whole.

An analysis of the responses to this survey will inform three online workshops we are organising for summer 2020 and, together with the discussions at the workshops, will help to shape our proposal to EPSRC on future investment needs to accelerate the transition to zero pollution.

This survey will close for responses on 26 June 2020.

Aims

We are seeking input from a diverse range of stakeholders to understand the key research challenges for the UK to transition to a sustainable zero-pollution economy. Therefore we would appreciate you taking the time to complete the following short survey. Responses may come from whole organisations, departments or groups within organisations, or be personal responses. Please provide a contact for each response.

By completing the survey you are accepting that we can use the information you have supplied in the discussion at the workshops, and this information may be used to support the subsequent case for investment in this area. Therefore, please do not submit any sensitive information. The responses to the survey will be anonymised and collated for use at the workshop.

Transition to zero pollution survey questions [PDF].

Survey

Please complete the survey here.

Energy storage can help unsubsidised solar in China compete better with fossil fuels, CNESA says

There was a near-70% increase in capacity of operational energy storage projects in China paired with solar energy from 2018 to 2019, according to figures recently published by the China Energy Storage Alliance (CNESA).

The Alliance has just released a set of quarterly deployment figures analysing the energy storage industry around the world in 2020 so far, while also assessing the drivers for solar-plus-storage in 2019 and going forwards.

China’s operational solar-plus-storage project capacity and growth year-on-year. Image and date: CNESA Global Energy Storage Project Database.

Please read the full article here.

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