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10 October 2012 | PR 12/172

Loughborough energy expert to tackle the challenges of sustainable energy at British Library event

Izzy Jeffs


A Loughborough University academic will be joining a group of the UK's leading energy experts to consider pressing challenges and questions about the nation's future energy supply and demand at a British Library event on Tuesday 23 October.

Sustainable Energy for the 21st Century: can we ensure a bright future? is part of the British Library's successful TalkScience series.

The debate will give the public a chance to pose questions to a knowledgeable panel about how the UK will attempt to meet its evolving energy needs.

The event's panel is drawn from the Network of Energy Centres for Doctoral Training (NECDT) and will be chaired by Guardian Environment Correspondent Fiona Harvey. The NECDT's membership is drawn from 13 research centres with expertise in all aspects of energy and is co-led by the University of Leeds and The University of Nottingham. The aim of the network is to produce the energy leaders of the future who will help the UK reach the carbon emissions reduction target of 80% from 2000 levels by the middle of the century.

On the expert panel is Loughborough’s Dr Kirk Shanks, Lecturer and Academic Manager of the London-Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand at the University.  He said: “In considering the mix of energy sources, we’ll be exploring the wide range of factors that affect how much energy we need and the role energy end-use technology plays in shaping and delivering this in efficient ways.

“We’ll address the ever present question of can technology affect our energy demand? We find that quite often when we adopt new more energy efficient technologies they do not provide the reduction in energy demands we expect. We will also explore why this can be the case and how emerging interdisciplinary understandings of demand are leading to advances in technologies to respond to the underlying influences of energy use behaviour.”

Also part of the panel will be Phil Taylor, DONG Energy Professor Renewable Energy from Durham University's Durham Energy Institute (DEI).

Professor Taylor added: "We'll be considering what mix of energy technologies might allow us to meet society's huge demands for power while being mindful of emissions targets. What percentage of this mix will be renewable energy compared to our more traditional sources of power? Does nuclear power fit in and if so, how? There are clearly huge challenges involved in changing our energy practices while keeping the lights on. We're looking forward to exploring these in this event." 

Completing the panel are Professor Colin Snape of The University of Nottingham and Daniel Crean from The University of Sheffield.


For all media enquiries contact:

Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: J.L.Wing@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

1. The event will take place at the British Library from 6.20pm on Tuesday 23rd October. To book places please visit the British Library Online Box Office.

The event is part of the British Library's TalkScience series, café scientifique events where experts provide provocative introductions to a topic, followed by a discussion with an informed audience and panel.

2. The Network of Energy Centres for Doctoral Training draws together 13 Energy Centres for Doctoral Training to collaborate on training programmes and research projects, share best practice and communicate their work to the public, maximising the impact of public engagement activities delivered through the sharing of best practice, materials and collaboration at high profile events. For more information, please contact Nicola Smith (Public Engagement Manager)

3. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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