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Durham Energy Institute

DEI Energy Conference for U3A

Durham Energy Institute hosted the first University of the Third Age Energy Conference for the Northumbria Region Branch on 11 April 2018.

University of the Third Age (U3A) is a UK-wide movement which brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment. The third age is a time after you have finished working full-time or raising your family and have time to pursue your interests or just try something new. U3A has a ‘university’ of members who draw upon their knowledge and experience to teach and learn from each other but there are no qualifications to pass – it is just for pleasure. Learning is its own reward. It's all voluntary; a typical U3A will be home to many activity groups covering hundreds of different subjects - from art to zoology and everything in between. Formed over 30 years ago, there are now over 1,000 U3As across the UK, with thousands of interest groups between them and more than 400,000 members nationally - plus we’re growing every day.

This series of lectures organised and presented by Durham Energy Institute for the U3A explored the history, changes and opportunities related to all areas of the energy sector.

We don’t need to be in the energy industry to know how increasingly important it is to our life style. There have been many changes over the years in the types of energy we consume, and how it is produced and delivered, but probably more important, the impact the various forms of energy have on our environment.

Over the past year global conditions have continued to challenge the energy industry, and we have seen significant changes in energy prices and production. The growing importance of ‘Green’ renewable energy, driven by our concern for the environment, is now gaining traction. The actual costs of some of the renewables has seen a dramatic cost reduction, making it a more realistic economic opportunity, and this could change the balance of how we consume energy.

The full programme can be viewed here.

Watch films of the conference sessions with presentation slides:

Session 1: Introduction and Energy Use and Sources: Introduction by Professor Jon Gluyas, Director of DEI and Stuart Corbridge, PVC of Durham University; Fossil Fuels; Energy Use and sources; Heating using Abandoned Coal Mines; and Making Electric Motors more energy efficient.

Session 2: A History of Energy: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG); A History of Energy; Firewood to Fusion.

Session 3: Consequences of Energy: Consequences of energy; the role of energy in the development of nations.

Session 4: Social Aspects of Energy Usage and Close of Conference: Social Aspects of Energy Usage and Fuel Poverty; Understanding and Addressing Energy Vulnerability; Final questions and discussion for Energy conference.