Low Carbon Conversations

Low Carbon Conversations graphic

From wind and solar to hydrogen and nuclear, in Low Carbon Conversations Cormac O’Malley explores the challenges and opportunities presented by clean energy technologies with a host of experts from Imperial College London. In each episode, Cormac and his guests delve into a different aspect of decarbonising the energy system, exploring broad challenges as well as specific technical problems and solutions.  

This monthly podcast is brought to you by the Integrated Development of Low-carbon Energy Systems programme and Energy Futures Lab, Imperial’s global energy institute. 

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Cormac O’Malley

Cormac O'Malley photoCormac O’Malley is an Electrical Engineering PhD student. His research covers a range of topics within low carbon power system operation. His focus is on developing new methods to maintain grid stability and quality of supply in systems with high penetrations of highly variable and unpredictable renewable generation sources like wind and solar. He also thinks about problems such as the optimal integration of electric vehicles within the power system, and the potential benefits of smart domestic devices (like your fridge) in the system's future. 

Episode 1 - A powerful transformation

Which electricity generation and storage technologies are the best options for meeting our future energy needs in a low-carbon, low-cost way? In this first episode, Cormac meets Dr Marko Aunedi, an expert in energy system modelling whose research investigates cost effective decarbonisation of the electricity system. We find out about the electricity sector in the UK and how it has been undergoing widespread transformation, drastically reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, and what we might expect next.   

Episode 2 - A Tricky Balance

Running a power system is a delicate balancing act; system operators must carefully match supply and demand around the clock. Typically, that means turning on fossil fuel generators when demand is high, but how can that balance be maintained in a system dominated by renewables? In this episode, Cormac is joined by Dr Luis Badesa, a Research Associate in Imperial College London’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, to discuss the role of ‘inertia’ and explore how an increase in clean power will affect our approach to keeping the electricity grid stable in the future.