Josh Matthews

Energy Transition

The energy and utilities industries are merging. The global energy transition is shaping new industries and influencing all others. To find their place in the new world, energy and utilities firms (and all those affected) must collaborate and align their strategies to this global context.

The energy transition dominated the conversations in our recent energy and utilities Top 10 studies. Under the global context of decarbonizing to avoid the worst effects of climate change and addressing all 17 UN goals covering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, organizations worldwide are abandoning fossil fuels for renewable energy sources. But the transition so far is nowhere near fast enough.

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Judith Wolf

STEMM News Roundup for March 2022

Science

2 March 2022: Nations sign up to end global scourge of plastic pollution with the UN Plastics Treaty

7 March 2022: Ukrainian researchers are stranded at their Vernadsky Antarctic base, due to the war. 12 scientists, engineers, and support staff were nearing the end of a 13-month-long expedition when Russia invaded.

24 March 2022: The James Webb Space Telescope (launched from Kourou, French Guiana) is in cooldown and mirror alignment mode. The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s largest, most powerful, and most complex space science telescope ever built. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.

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Judith Wolf

Around the Coast: North West

Fire on saltmarsh at Parkgate destroys habitat

Fire crews and six engines from Cheshire and Merseyside fire tackled the blaze on marshland on the Dee Estuary at Parkgate after being called out at about 6.20pm on Saturday 19th March, on a low spring tide. It is thought that the fire was started deliberately, and police are investigating the incident. The fire crews (partly thanks to the wind direction) were able to protect local housing and the next high tide put out the remaining fire.

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Judith Wolf

The Facts about Sea Level Rise

We all know about climate change, don’t we? But maybe we are all a bit vague on the economic consequences, and unfortunately, despite being labelled the biggest threat to society and the planet, it just never quite gets urgent enough for many of us to worry about. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that ‘It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.’ Each of the last four decades has been successively warmer than any decade that preceded it since 1850. This is becoming more evident as extreme weather is increasingly being attributed to climate change by meteorologists. Such events hit the headlines.

The less high-profile, slow impact of increasing sea levels is becoming an existential reality for some nations. For example in the Pacific Ocean, low-lying island nations are seriously considering relocation. The nation of Kiribati has bought a piece of Fiji to relocate its 103,000 residents if they must leave their home island. Many other small-island developing states are also feeling the impact of sea level rise already as coastal flooding and erosion removes low-lying valuable land, which cannot easily be replaced. In the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, where the maximum elevation of the land is less than 3m above sea level, various actions are already being taken. These include protecting groundwater and increasing rainwater harvesting, as well as increasing the elevation of critical infrastructure and reclaiming land from the sea.

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Judith Wolf

The Future of Renewable Energy for the UK

We have an energy crisis in the UK. Gas prices have recently shot up 5-fold, bringing this sharply into focus, but the problem has been around for some years, notably identified in 2006 in the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change. Our old nuclear plants are coming to the end of their lives, despite already having these extended. We want clean energy for the future, to de-carbonise our energy supply and reduce global warming. In fact there is an energy ‘trilemma’ worldwide, balancing the goals of Energy Security (i.e. a home-grown supply, not dependent on a Russian pipeline), Environmental Sustainability (we must do no more harm!) and Energy Equity (a reasonable supply of affordable energy for all).

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