'The Energy Conundrum' panel debate at The Royal Society

'The Energy Conundrum' panel debate at the Royal Society

On Tuesday 1 December, the University welcomed guests to an alumni panel debate at The Royal Society in London.

Over 130 alumni living in and around London who currently work in the sector, attended this special event. Entitled ‘The Energy Conundrum’, the debate focussed on the issue of climate change and how we can work together to create a more sustainable society for future generations.

Chaired by Professor Marie Kinsey, joint head of the Department of Journalism Studies, Professor of Journalism Education and Director of Learning and Teaching for the Department of Journalism, the panel consisted of:

  • Dr Brian Gilvary, Chief Financial Officer and Director, BP
  • Teresa Hitchcock, Partner and National Head of Safety, Health and Environment, DLA Piper LLP
  • Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor, University of Sheffield
  • Professor Tony Ryan OBE, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Science & Professor of Physical Chemistry, Director of Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, University of Sheffield

Grantham Scholar Guy Mayneord, who attended, summed up the event:

“The debate started with a question from my fellow Grantham Scholar Oleksandra Korychenska, about what role universities, companies and the government have in changing customer behaviour and attitudes towards energy consumption. Some interesting points were raised, including a discussion on the main constraints on the efficiency of renewable energy – for example, the storage of generated energy, as often the main capture point (such as solar panels absorbing light in the day) is not the main time for its use (such as powering lights at night). Fundamentally though, the main theme of the night was our dependence on fossil fuels, and the unsustainability of this. Tony Ryan raised the point that if the world were to aspire to live as America does, at our current rate of consumption, we would require 11 planets worth of resources, or three if we were to live like the United Kingdom”.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the debate, including panel members, host and guests.

Visit the Grantham Centre website to read Guy Mayneord’s full blog.

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