Climate Week Event:Is natural gas the answer to the UK’s energy challenges?
Tuesday, 5 March 2013 from 17:30 to 18:45 (GMT)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
CCCEP Climate Week Lecture
‘Is natural gas the answer to the UK’s energy challenges'
Professor Jim Watson, Professor of Energy Policy, SPRU
Gas supplies 30% of the energy we use in the UK: to heat our homes, to power industry and to generate electricity. Within the low carbon transition that the UK needs to make, gas will continue to be important.
It will be some time before the millions of households that rely on gas will be able to switch to electric or renewable heating. Gas also accounts for 40% of UK electricity generation – and the shift to gas in this sector has delivered a large share of our emissions reductions to date.
The future role of natural gas is at the heart of the increasingly fractious debates about UK energy policy – whether it is the pros and cons of shale gas, the heated arguments over renewable energy, or the allegations of price manipulation in wholesale energy markets. For enthusiasts, a continuing commitment to natural gas represents a low cost solution to our energy challenges. But others are more cautious, and point to significant economic and environmental risks that are associated with this fossil fuel.
In this lecture, Professor Watson will explore the potential future role of natural gas in the UK energy mix, and will discuss some of the reasons why this is so controversial.
Jim Watson is Professor of Energy Policy at SPRU, University of Sussex. He recently joined the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) as its new Research Director after spending four years as Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex. Jim trained as an engineer at Imperial College London and has a PhD in science and technology policy from Sussex.
He has 20 years’ research experience on a range of energy, climate change and innovation policy issues. He frequently advises UK government departments and other organisations. He was a lead expert with the UK Foresight project on Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment (2007-08), and has been a Specialist Adviser with House of Commons Committees on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2006-09) and Energy and Climate Change (2010-11).
Jim has extensive international experience, including over ten years working on energy scenarios and energy innovation policies in China and India. He co-authored a Tyndall Centre report: China’s Energy Transition in April 2009. In 2008, he spent three months as a Visiting Scholar at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Jim is a council member of the British Institute for Energy Economics, and was its chair in 2011. He is also a member of DECC and Defra’s social science expert panel.
The lecture will be held in Conference Auditorium 2 (GM.01), Clarendon Way, University of Leeds. The Eventbrite map does not accurately show the location of the Conference Auditorium which is situated behind 'The Edge' Sports Centre on Willow Terrace Road and is Building 100 on the Campus Map http://www.leeds.ac.uk/site/custom_scripts/campus_map.php
When & Where
The ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy
The ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) brings together some of the world's leading researchers on climate change economics and policy, from many different disciplines. The Centre is hosted jointly by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)| and is chaired by Professor Lord Stern of Brentford. It is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) with a mission is to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research.
Its five inter-linked research themes are:
Theme 1: Understanding green growth and climate-compatible development
Theme 2: Advancing climate finance and investment
Theme 3: Evaluating the performance of climate policies
Theme 4: Managing climate risks and uncertainties and strengthening climate services
Theme 5: Enabling rapid transitions in mitigation and adaptation
More information about the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy can be
found at: http://www.cccep.ac.uk