In response to the coronavirus pandemic, UKERC’s webinar series was created in mid-2021 to engage and inspire the energy research community while working from home.

We’ve found that webinars are a great way to share ideas and bring people together from across the UK. Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, our webinar series is now a permanent feature.

Our events bring together UKERC researchers and external stakeholders to discuss topics at the cutting edge of energy research. Please note, all of our webinars are free to attend.

We are always looking for speakers; if you would like to collaborate with us, please contact Amber Sawyer.

Below you will find our 2022 schedule and recordings of past events.

2022 Schedule

5 October: ‘Materials for Energy’

The transition to net-zero carbon emissions is a massive global effort, requiring significant and ongoing investment and buildout in new technologies, processes and products. Large quantities of raw materials will be needed to build low-carbon generation, transportation and end-use technologies.

This webinar, based on a new Imperial College/UKERC Briefing Paper, considers the current availability and development of materials for the energy sector. Using four illustrative case studies, it first assesses the issues relating to the availability and production chain of materials which are critical to the production of low-carbon energy technologies. Utilising a technology-based approach, it then investigates the state of development of novel materials in the sector, presenting policy recommendations to improve the R&D chain and accelerate the development of novel materials and more efficient utilisation.

Speakers: Dr Aidan Rhodes, Dr Phil Heptonstall and Dr Jamie Speirs, Research Fellows at Imperial College London.

Please register for the event here.

Our 2022 schedule is updated regularly. Please check back for future events.

Recordings

An Observatory for Public Engagement with Energy and Climate Change

Published: 7 July 2022

Meaningful public engagement is now seen as crucial to addressing the challenges of energy transitions and climate change. While these are profoundly systemic problems, most approaches to public engagement are not, focusing on discrete and often one-off forms of participation in specific parts of wider systems. UKERC has been at the forefront of moves to develop more systemic approaches to public participation and engagement, including through its Public Engagement Observatory.

The Public Engagement Observatory maps the many different ways that people are engaging with energy, climate change and net zero on an ongoing basis. It openly shares and undertakes these mappings with others to help make energy and climate-related decisions, innovations and participation more just, responsible and responsive to society. Through its network, the Observatory makes connections and encourages learning across wider systems of public engagement in the UK and internationally.

This webinar marked the launch of the Public Engagement Observatory’s new dedicated website and open access database, which allows everyone to openly access, explore and contribute to its mappings of diverse public engagement with energy and climate change.

Speakers: Prof Jason Chilvers, UEA, UKERC Co-Director and Public Engagement Observatory lead; Prof Becky Willis, University of Lancaster; Prof Jim Watson, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources; Simon Burall, Involve and Sciencewise; Helen Pallett, UEA and UKERC Public Engagement Observatory deputy-lead.


UK Energy Resilience: Looking to Next Winter and Beyond

Published: 6 June 2022

The energy crisis, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, has affected millions of people worldwide. It has generated much debate around where we source energy, how we use it and how to protect consumers who are struggling to pay their bills. UKERC, the Energy Institute and Royal Academy of Engineering teamed up to consider how the UK can best respond to the energy crisis.

This event explored both short term actions, or priorities for the coming winter, as well as longer term actions and how they intersect with the wider net zero transition. The event ran in two sessions that addressed these timeframes individually.

This was the first in a series of two events: unfortunately, the energy crisis and its effects will persist for some time, so we will be running a follow-up event in October to discuss new developments that unfold over the summer.

Session 1 – Looking to this Winter

Speakers: Prof Jan Webb MBE, University of Edinburgh and UKERC Co-Director; Dr Joanne Wade OBE, The Association for Decentralised Energy; Prof Rob Gross, Imperial College London and UKERC Director; Dr Simon Bennett, International Energy Agency; Prof Keith Bell, University of Strathclyde and UKERC Co-Director; Andy Manning, Citizen’s Advice.

Session 2 – Beyond this Winter

Speakers: Keith Bell, Climate Change Committee (CCC); Prof Mike Bradshaw, Warwick Business School and UKERC Co-Director; Dr Jen Baxter, Protium and member of NEPC Net Zero Working Group; Simon Virley, KPMG; Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK; Rachel Cary, BEIS.


Green Jobs

Published: 12 April 2022

There have been multiple calls for investment in green jobs, skills and infrastructure to help achieve the UK’s net zero target, while supporting economic recovery from COVID-19 and a just transition away from high carbon sectors. Employment and economic benefits are often cited as part of efforts to lobby for investment in clean energy projects such as renewables, low carbon heating and energy efficiency.

This webinar presented the key findings and policy recommendations arising from UKERC’s latest project exploring low carbon energy jobs. In particular, it considered whether policy-driven expansion of low carbon energy actually creates jobs, particularly if the policies in question require subsidies that are paid for through bills or taxes.

Speakers: Janet Wood, British Institute of Energy Economics (BIEE); Jan Webb, University of Edinburgh and UKERC; Richard Hanna, Imperial College London and UKERC; Chloé Nemo Ramirez, The Climate Change Committee (CCC); Charles Wood, Energy UK; Anna Markova, Trades Union Congress (TUC).

If you would like a copy of Richard’s slides, please email Amber Sawyer.


Deploying Heat Pumps While Providing Multiple Household Benefits

Published: 22 March 2022

Heat pumps are central to the decarbonisation of heating and removing fossil gas from the UK’s energy mix. This webinar heard from UK heating experts on the policies, consumer protection, support and cost reductions needed to enable the deployment of 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028.

Speakers: Richard Lowes, Regulatory Assistance Project; Dhara Vyas, Energy UK; Tina Fawcett, Environmental Change Institute at University of Oxford; Leah Robson, Your Energy Your Way.


The Gas Crisis: What Next?

Published: 16 February 2022

The causes of the UK’s high gas prices are now well understood. Instead, discussion turns to how long prices will remain high and what needs to be done to mitigate them. This webinar explored the wider consequences of the UK’s current gas price crisis, investigated the prospects for future EU-Russia gas relations and finally asked what we should prioritise for a more resilient system. This was discussed within the wider context of the UK’s energy transition before opening to audience Q&A.

Speakers: Professor Michael Bradshaw, UKERC and Warwick Business School; Dr Katja Yafimava, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies; Juliet Phillips, E3G; Professor Rob Gross, UKERC and Imperial College London.


Review of Energy Policy 2021

Published: 16 December 2021

In December  we held an event to launch our Review of Energy Policy. With a focus on gas and the UK continental shelf, industrial decarbonisation, heat, mobility and the environment, this looked at developments both at home and internationally and ask whether the UK is a leader in decarbonisation. Read the full review here.

Chaired by Director Rob Gross, we had presentations from Co-Directors Mike Bradshaw who focused on gas, and Nicky Beaumont who focused on the environment. This was followed by a panel discussion with: Maureen Paul, Interim Chief Economist, Ofgem; Doug Parr, Chief Scientist and Policy Director, Greenpeace; Prof. Beth Scott, University of Aberdeen; and Prof Jim Watson, Director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Delivering Net Zero (DNZ)

Published: 20 December 2021

Delivering Net Zero (DNZ) is a collaborative project being undertaken by the University of Leeds, Cardiff University and Cultivate Innovation. The project seeks to unite and explore a range of cross-sector perspectives to identify where consensus does and does not exist on how the UK should deliver net zero. Data is being collected via three rounds of deliberative workshops, the first of which convened 42 top academics from across the research community working in energy supply, energy demand and greenhouse gas removal. This webinar convened a panel of experts to introduce the key themes that emerged from the academic community and discuss the opportunities and barriers to developing cross-sector narratives on net zero.


Sustainable Cold-Chain Systems for Food Resilience

Published: 1 November 2021

The cold-chain is the backbone of our local and global food networks. Conventional cold-chains for food are energy intensive and use refrigerants that often have high Global Warming Potentials (GWPs). How food is delivered has major implications for rural economies, the food and drinks industry, social well-being, climate change, food security, energy security, and urban air quality. The food and drink industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK and the food sector is predicted to increase due to population growth.

London South Bank University, University of Birmingham, Heriot Watt University and Cranfield University are working together to provide a comprehensive, evidence-driven set of road maps for the UK food cold-chain (chilled and frozen) to be able to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050. This webinar will present preliminary work on the assessment of current and future cold-chain emissions from UK food cooling systems.


The Future of Energy Retail

Published: 28 April 2021

Drawing on key themes highlighted in the recent ReCosting Energy – Powering for the Future report, the UKERC hosted webinar explores issues such as as those around the optimisation of the system, changes to the customer experience, an increase in the importance and use of data and artificial intelligence, and the need for institutional to change.

The webinar was chaired by UKERC Director Rob Gross and features Laura Sandys of Challenging Ideas who delivers a short presentation drawing on the recent ReCosting Energy – Powering for the Future report, this was followed by a panel discussion with: Sarah Keay-Bright, Practice Manager for Policy & Regulation, Energy Systems Catapult; Will Blyth UKERC researcher and Director of Oxford Energy Associates; and Jeff Hardy senior researcher, The Grantham Institute at Imperial College.