Timing and Structure
Lent term. 2 hour sessions. Assessment: 100% coursework.
A basic engineering knowledge of electricity (first year undergraduate) and a familiarity with the units and notation associated with energy science and engineering is an advantage, but not essential. Assessment will be structured so as to be accessible to students from a range of backgrounds.
The aims of the course are to:
- provide students with a firm foundation in modern electricity policy with an emphasis on the UK.
- introduce students to a wide a variety of mature and emergent electricity generation and demand side technologies.
- expose students to the local, regional and global environmental effects of energy use.
- introduce the key considerations of energy policy and develop frameworks by which progress against policy goals may be achieved.
- discuss issues with electrification of heating and transport.
As specific objectives, by the end of the course students should be able to:
- critique scenarios for the future UK electricity system out to 2050
- evaluate and compare the efficacy of different electricity generation technologies
- understand current and future electricity policy options
- appreciate how economics and engineering interact in a sustainable electricity system
This module is a postgraduate module of Cambridge Judge Business School. It has its origins as an elective course of the MPhil in Technology Policy and the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development. The module is of the standard size adopted in the Engineering Department and the Judge Business School, i.e. a nominal 16 hours. The course is delivered via one two-hour lecture each week for eight weeks.
Overview - Class Introduction - Michael Pollitt
- History of Electrical Power and Energy Policy.
- Fundamentals of the UK and USA Electricity System.
- UK Energy Policy and Politics.
- Principles of good energy policy.
- Recent UK Energy White Papers.
Environmental Effects of Fossil Fuel Use and what to do about them (Michael Pollitt)
- Local Emissions and Impacts
- Putting a Price on Damages?
- Economic approaches to externalities
- Pricing carbon
- Experiences of the EU Emissions Trading System and carbon pricing in Australia
Electricity Demand (Michael Pollitt)
- Economics of Electricity Demand
- The economics of smart energy services
- Technological aspects of electricity demand
- Social aspects of electricity demand
- Demand side policy
Fossil fuel generation, storage and future electricity markets (Michael Pollitt)
- Current status of fossil-fuel power generation
- Economics of Carbon Capture and Storage
- The economics of electricity storage
- Business models for the internet of energy
- Future electricity market design
Renewables and the Electricity System (Michael Pollitt)
- Renewables context
- Potential for renewables in the UK
- Place of renewables in electricity system
- How to subsidise renewables
- Lessons from around the world
Electrification of heating and transport? (Michael Pollitt)
- The economics of heating
- Decarbonising the gas network
- Sector coupling: power to gas
- The economics of transport
- Decarbonisation of transport
- Electrification of transport: cars, trucks, ships and planes?
Electricity Networks (Richard McMahon)
- Transmission and distribution system engineering considerations
- Design and operation
- History of the grid and legacy issues
- Distributed Generation
- High voltage DC and interconnection
Nuclear Power, Electricity Security and EU Policy (Michael Pollitt)
- The economics of Nuclear Power
- Energy Security
- EU Energy Policy
- EU 2030 Targets
- Roadmap 2050
- Good electricity policy?
Essay on the 2030 decarbonisation challenge facing the UK electricity system.
26 March 2021
Grubb, M., Jamasb, T., and Pollitt, M.G. (eds.) (2008) Delivering a low-carbon electricity system. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Printed book at: JBS: TD195.E4 G72 2008 Engineering: DE.166
Ozawa, M., Chaplin, J., Pollitt, M., Reiner, D. and Warde, P. (eds.) (2019) In Search of Good Energy Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Taylor, S. (2016) The Fall and Rise of Nuclear Power in Britain Cambridge: UIT Printed book at: JBS: HD9698.G72 T39 F3 2016 UL: C212.c.2239
Jamasb, T. and Pollitt, M. (eds.) (2011) The Future of Electricity Demand Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Printed book at: JBS: HD9685.G72 J35 2011 Engineering: DE.190 UL: 235.c.201.356 (South Front 6)
MacKay, D.J.C. (2009) Sustainable energy without the hot air. Cambridge: UIT E-book via withouthotair http://www.withouthotair.com/download.html Printed book at: Engineering: DE.164
Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.
The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) describes the requirements that have to be met in order to become a Chartered Engineer, and gives examples of ways of doing this.
UK-SPEC is published by the Engineering Council on behalf of the UK engineering profession. The standard has been developed, and is regularly updated, by panels representing professional engineering institutions, employers and engineering educators. Of particular relevance here is the 'Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes' (AHEP) document which sets out the standard for degree accreditation.
The Output Standards Matrices indicate where each of the Output Criteria as specified in the AHEP 3rd edition document is addressed within the Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering Triposes.
Last modified: 13/04/2021 14:22