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Energy Systems

Lockdown measures have pushed down energy demand by 20% or more. We are heading towards a record annual decline in global carbon emissions of almost 8% by the end of 2020.

Demand has shifted from the workplace and industry to our homes, which opens up questions around new or localised supply networks and pricing models of energy, as well as energy efficiency measures and behaviour in our homes. On the supply side, coal and gas demand have been hit the hardest, while renewables have so far been most resilient. Energy security will become more important as we move past this pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak may give rise to new thinking around viable investment and business models to support a clean energy transition. It could spin out new solutions for clean energy in healthcare systems, communication, businesses, foundation industries, and all other basic amenities of our lives, while offering us an opportunity to rebuild a cleaner, more sustainable world.

These are just some of the possible topics your team might find solutions for, but the scope is much wider.

Find a team. Work on a solution. Make a change in the world and be in with a chance of winning a prize.


Jim Watson

Jim Watson

Jim Watson is Professor of Energy Policy and Research Director at the UCL Institute of Sustainable Resources. He was previously Director of the UK Energy Research Centre (2013 to 2019). He has over 20 years’ research experience on climate change, energy and innovation policy. He frequently advises UK government departments and other organisations, and has been a Specialist Adviser with three UK Parliamentary committees. He is an expert lead with the UK’s national climate change assembly, a judge for the Queens Awards (sustainable development) and a member of the UK government’s fossil fuel price projections panel.

Lorenzo Lotti

Lorenzo Lotti

‌Lorenzo is an economist at University College of London. He holds a BSc in Economics from University of Genoa, an MSc in International Economics from University of Pavia, an MSc in Economics from UCL and a PhD in Applied Economics. He has worked in the development economics field, with BRAC in Uganda and IFS in India. He is currently working as Senior Teaching Fellow and Programme Leader at UCL Bartlett, in the MSc of Economics and Policy of Energy end the Environment (EPEE). Recognised Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Founder of BEET (Behavioural Environmental Economics Team)

Rachel Freeman

Rachel Freeman

Rachel Freeman, is a Research Fellow at UCL’s Energy Institute. She is currently working on simulation modelling of the UK’s energy transition towards net zero GHG emissions. The modelling represents the social, political and technological complexity of whole system change. Dr Freeman has years of experience in consulting to large and small organisations, carrying out statistical analysis, software engineering, engineering and economic analysis of energy technologies, carbon footprinting, and energy resource planning. Her academic specialty is in applying systems thinking and systems modelling to improve understanding of complex issues related to sustainability and resilience.

Share ideas

Idea submission is now open! Join our Slack community to post and discuss ideas, get feedback, find teammates and get inspired.

Register a team

Once you’ve found an idea, pull together a team of 3-7 dedicated people with the skills to find a solution. The team leader must now officially register the team through Microsoft Forms.

Submit for evaluation

Upload a video, presentation, document or poster explaining the problem being solved, your proposed solution and how you will make a change in the world.

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