Birmingham Energy Society (BES): a fantastic spring term

Coming back refreshed in the New Year the Society drew up an ambitious timetable for the new term.

At the start of the second semester, we were excited to host Marcus Stewart the Head of Energy Insights at the National Grid plc. He captivated our attention with his talk on ‘Future Energy Scenarios’. Here, we learnt how long term energy scenarios are evaluated and models are utilised. It was interesting to think about the future of energy markets and learn the importance of the provision of advice to industry and government regarding energy creation.

Following this, members had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Dr Grant Wilson from the University. Grant's work focuses on the challenges behind the decarbonisation of heat in the UK, as well as innovations in teaching and learning. He covered different topics from a comparison of gas and electricity networks in the UK to the new Teach Energy project. This project aims to bring diversity to the way in which energy is taught across universities. It encourages the sharing of resources and binding of the energy teaching community across the UK while attracting and incorporating more women within energy education.

Week 7 was an exciting time for the society as we prepared for our trip to Tyseley Energy Park to explore the components of an Energy Innovation Zone, the first of its kind in Birmingham. To ensure we could get the most out of our visit we held a workshop beforehand. Over pizza, we drew up mind-maps with all our ideas about Energy Innovation Zones, ready to discuss with staff at the Tyseley Energy Park. In groups, we evaluated the different factors contributing to the future energy climate, examining supply, demand and infrastructure. We discussed how we thought these would change in the near future and brainstormed how we could implement some of our own energy innovation zones on the university campus.

The trip itself was a great success! We met with David Horsfall, Tyseley’s Non-Executive Director. David enlightened us, by explaining the design and build of the zone. We evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of the different forms of energy creation and storage. It was particularly interesting to hear about how these can be implemented on a larger scale in the future and the role of key local stakeholders. After chatting with David, we were taken on a tour of the park where we got to see the development of the projects. It was a great, interesting day out and we are excited to stay updated with their progress.

In week 10, we came together to hold the society’s second AGM to elect a new committee for the next academic year. Most of the current committee are graduating this year and so it was especially important for us to elect a new team that would continue growing and progressing the society. Following the election, we feel confident that the society will be left in great and capable hands as the elected committee have continuously engaged with the society right from the beginning and have some wonderful ideas on how to develop it further.

Lastly, to mark the end of the second semester, we held an Energy Industry Insight Day, one of our best events to date! For this, we collaborated with the Birmingham Energy Institute to give members an insight into a career in the energy industry. Over refreshments, we had the pleasure of chatting with the directors of companies such as Ramboll, Eco2Solar, Kew Technologies Ltd and the National Grid. It was an invaluable opportunity to learn what we can be doing to enhance our career opportunities as well as hearing personal accounts of what it is like to work in the sector. We hope to continue running events like these in the future!

Energy Insight DayEnergy Insight Day

We’ve had a wonderful, busy term and will be reflecting back and brainstorming ideas for future events over the Easter holidays. We also look forward to attending the EPS Societies’ Awards in June. The nominations for the awards have opened and we hope you will consider nominating us for the Head of College Idea of the Year award for our dedication to bringing this new society to life!

We wish you a restful break and lovely Easter,

Laure Davis
Birmingham Energy Society EPS representative 2018/2019