Today marks the start of the 11th EU Sustainable Energy Week. This year two MSc students from the Centre of Environmental Policy, Livia Kalossaka and Alison Midgley have organised an event as part of the initiative.
The Imperial EU energy day is this Thursday, 16 June, and will focus on energy efficiency in cities. Livia and Alison have written this blog post to describe the event and the motivations behind it.
Providing an adequate supply of secure, sustainable and affordable energy will be one of the greatest challenges of the coming century. Globally, populations are burgeoning and urbanisation is rapidly increasing, meaning that energy security issues are intensifying in cities around the world.
For this reason, as part of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), an initiative of the European Commission, we are hosting an Energy Day at Imperial College London focusing on energy efficiency in cities. During the week of the 13-17 June, several conferences and workshops will take place throughout the European Union to ignite debates on new policy developments, best practices, sustainable energy ideas and encouraging networking to forge new alliances.
In bringing the EUSEW Energy Day to Imperial, we aim to raise awareness of energy efficiency and renewable energy through the Imperial EU Energy Day, bring together people from different sectors and present new technologies and solutions to current energy efficiency challenges. The question we would like to ask is: how can we secure energy to continue growing economically, while still providing a safer, cleaner environment in today’s cities?
The event will open with Petra Sarapatkova, Policy Officer from the European Commission. Petra has a background in research and innovation, renewable energy and energy efficiency. In her current role at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the EC, she is helping to develop an ambitious new initiative supporting innovation in Europe. She will focus on funding research for energy in government and policy.
Also speaking at the event will be Dr. Mark Barrett, Senior Lecturer at University College London and technical director of SiCEDS, an Innovate UK-funded project to produce a city energy and environment model. He is an expert in energy efficiency with 40 years’ experience. His models of energy demand and renewable supply have been used to design low cost systems to enhance energy security and reduce emissions at international and local levels in Europe and Asia. He will share his insights into improving energy efficiency in cities without compromising economic growth.
Our third speaker is Ipek Gencsu, Research and Engagement Manager at the New Climate Economy. She has been manager and a co-author of the Global Commission’s major Annual Reports and has worked on climate change, migration, gender justice research and advocacy in various international institutions. She will talk about how cities can realise opportunities for better economic growth that creates a safer climate and yields local benefits for air quality, health, and quality of life.
The event will close with insights by Richard Kirkman, the Technical Director of Veolia Ltd. He is responsible for the efficient operation and maintenance of the water, waste and energy operating assets in the UK. Richard was recently elected the UK Board Champion of Equality and Inclusion. He will discuss the role of big business in improving and supporting energy efficiency in urban environments.
Livia is studying for an MSc. in Environmental Technology. She is specialising in Water Management with a background in Chemistry. She is a technology enthusiast and currently researching how to improve the resource efficiency of cities through a systems perspective.
Alison is also studying for the MSc. in Environmental Technology. Her specialisation is in water resources management and ecology. Her current thesis is on improving resource and energy efficiency in agri-food supply chains for Veolia.