Energy Demand Studentships at UCL

Recruitment is now open for London-Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand studentships for the 2013/14 academic year, with up to 6 fully funded studentships available at UCL-Energy!

- Are you interested in energy demand research; a complex interplay of people, buildings and economics?

- Are you looking for a high level multidisciplinary doctoral training programme (MRes + PhD) in energy which gives you the opportunity to learn from experienced researchers and to undertake original research at a world leading institution?

- Are you a graduate with a good first degree in one of the following areas; physics, mathematics, engineering, natural sciences, geographical sciences, social sciences, materials science, architecture, planning and surveying or any other built environment disciplines?

  • As one of our students you will join a vibrant and diverse community of academics and graduate students.
  • Join either UCL (6 studentships available) or Loughborough University (3 studentships available) where you will be supervised by world-leading academics assisted by industry partners and stakeholders providing a route into future employment in the rapidly expanding field of energy demand research.
  • You will gain project and programme management skills; teamwork, communication and leadership skills; and the ability to seek optimal solutions to complex or multifaceted problems.
  • You will receive an enhanced stipend of £17,090 per annum tax free plus UK/EU fees for four years (conditions apply).

Visit the Join Us pages of the London-Loughborough Centre website for more information on how to apply! Deadline for applications Monday 18 March

2013 12pm.

Other funding opportunities

Our partner institute, the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources is also now offering 9 fully funded studentships (conditions apply), to begin in September 2013. These include eight project on defining indicators for the sustainable use of resources and one further project on modelling material use in the global energy system.



phone:+44 (0)20 3108 5999 (internal 55999)

fax:+44 (0)20 3108  5986

U.S. CO2 Emissions and the Dash to Gas

There was an excellent AP Impact article a few months ago that focused on the substantial drop in carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, and the reasons why, that would make an excellent reading for a climate change or energy course.

Among the key points in the article:

  1. U..S. carbon dioxide emissions associated with energy generation (98% of total CO2 emissions) have fallen to their lowest levels in 20 years, at 5.2 billion metric tons;
  2. The primary reason for the decline in U.S. emissions is the plummeting price of natural gas, which has dropped from approximately $8 per thousand cubic feet to $2-3 over the past four years;
  3. While coal was used to produce half of all the electricity generated in the United States, it fell to 34% of the mix in March 2012;
    1. Power companies plan to retire 175 coal-fired power plants over the next five years
  4. It is unclear if the future of U.S. emissions will be as rosy; should natural gas prices tick up (which they may a bit in 2013, and more in 8 years hereafter), should coal prices fall, or if the economy takes off;
  5. China’s share of carbon dioxide emissions in 2011 rose to 29% in 2011, whereas the U.S. accounted for approximately 16%;
  6. One serious downside of the dash to natural gas in the United States is that “installation of new renewable energy facilities has now all but dried up.

Among the discussion questions that might be pertinent to this piece:

  1. What government intervention, if any, would be appropriate given the alleged crowding out of renewable energy projects by natural gas?
  2. Do the alleged methane emissions associated with natural gas extraction obviate the benefits of natural gas in terms of the shift from coal-fired power plants;
  3. Will natural gas help us avoid climate change as a “bridge fuel,” or result in carbon lock-in?

New Climate Course in edX

Here’s an interesting new course available on edX, the free distance learning course platform established by Harvard, UC-Berkeley, MIT, etc.:

PH278x: Human Health and Global Environmental Change

The course is taught by:

  • Aaron Bernstein, Associate Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health and a pediatric hospitalist at Boston Children’s Hospital;
  • John D. Spengler, Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health as well as the Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation.