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This lecture from Professor Sir Jim McDonald - Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, will contextualise the drive for low carbon energy systems.
Insights into evolving grid technologies and architectures, impact of data and new consumer ownership will be shared. Examples from developing countries on low carbon distributed and off-grids, and analogies in aero and marine electrical energy system applications will be discussed. The excitement of energy careers and the need for engineering skills, and "call to arms" for us all to accelerate into the energy transition, will conclude the talk.
The lecture will:
- contextualise the drive for low carbon energy systems in terms of COP'26, IPCC, CCC, Stern
- provide a (very) brief history of UK energy system development
- consider projections of load growth and energy mix
- highlight key low carbon technologies (in particular wind, marine, storage)
- evolving grid technologies and architectures (smart grid, LVDC, greater autonomy)
- impact of data / AI / distributed intelligence
- new consumer / community ownership (pro-sumer) / cities
- developing country examples of low carbon / distributed / off-grid
- present analogies in aero and marine electrical energy system applications (tech convergence and future vision for "energy islands")
- refer to the excitement of energy careers and the need for engineering skills
- "call to arms" for us all to accelerate into the energy transition
Professor Sir Jim McDonald BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc, CEng is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde. He Co-chairs, with the First Minister of Scotland, the Scottish Government’s Energy Advisory Board. He is Chairman of the Independent Glasgow Economic Leadership Board. He currently holds several senior business appointments with organisations including the Weir Group plc, Scottish Power plc, the UK Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the UK National Physical Laboratory.
Additionally, he Chairs or participates in several senior committees related to research, economic development and education. In the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List 2012, Professor McDonald was awarded a Knighthood for services to education, engineering and the economy. He was elected President of the Royal Academy of Engineering in September, 2019, through which he is a member of the UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Physics and the Energy Institute. He is a Foreign Fellow of the Chinese Society of Electrical Engineering, an Honorary Professor at Peking University and a Guest Professor at Nankai University.
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