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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

MSc Papers

This page showcases a selection of student projects and dissertations from the MSc Enegry and Society at Durham University.

The MSc Energy and Society prepares you for a career in decarbonising energy practices and systems. Whether that is by working with industry to redesign energy services, helping customers rethink their energy practices or developing climate-appropriate policies, the MSc gives you the grounding you need to make a difference.

Students have the opportunity to work on group research projects and individual dissertations to deepen their expertise in their chosen area. These projects are often in collaboration with key energy sector organisations or industry partners.

Collective Report by Willis Bennett, Hailey Bloom, Brendan Challenger-Mills and Jack Heffernan.

This study aims to contribute to existing literature surrounding electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK and provide comprehensive findings to enable Durham County Council (DCC) to sustain and encourage EV uptake in Durham City. This report provides suggestions for DCC to help them facilitate the aforementioned EV uptake and meet the demands of the rapidly evolving EV market.

Throughout the project, a people-centred approach was utilised, guided by the PEOPLE Project Conceptual Framework, to encourage a pedagogical research strategy.

Dowload the full report on encouraging Electric Vehicle uptake in Durham City.

Summary of Dissertation by Farah N. Samuel submitted for MSc Energy and Society (Durham University)

The foremost challenge facing the post-industrial world today is that of climate change. Since the industrial revolution and its associated capitalist economic growth, business management legitimised the exploitation of natural resources whilst considering the waste and pollution generated as externalities attributed to the free market process. Today many businesses are being far more cautious with their actions towards the environment and their production mechanisms. However, it is important to know what factors are driving corporations to pay attention to such externalities.

This case study examined how TATA Global Beverages UK, is addressing climate and energy issues in practice and what kind of strategies and tactics were adopted, and how are their strategies and energy policy being implemented at the firm level.

Download the dissertation summary on Corporate Environmentalism.

Summary of dissertation submited by Kurtulus Deger for MSc Energy and Society.

Kurtulus received 2nd prize from the North Eastern Energy Institute for this dissertation.

This study argues that the hydrogen energy transition is a socio-technical transition phenomenon and understanding the actors and their interrelations in the socio-technical system and regime aids in decision making processes for a sustainable energy future. The aim of the dissertation is to explore the opinion of the UK industry about switching to hydrogen energy. The project explored the transition from the existing natural gas socio-technical regime to the hybrid, hydrogen-carbon socio-technical regime, or in other words the ‘transitional hydrogen economy’. The research was based on a literature review and ten semi-structured interviews with large energy companies from the energy supply chain, developers, consultants and large energy consumers taking part in the hydrogen energy transition.

Download the summary of the dissertation on Hydrogen Transition in UK Industry

Report by Alastair Bingham, Kurtulus Deger and Simon Hall (May 2018).

This report aims to provide the reader with information regarding the implementation of geothermal heating schemes in Spennymoor, County Durham. These schemes would make use of the ‘hot’ water from disused mines through the use of a heat pump, thus providing homes access to cheap energy, with a low carbon footprint. The information provided regards Spennymoor’s mining heritage, public opinion on geothermal schemes, and the importance that planning should be given on the matter.

Download the Spennymoor Geothermal Heating report.

Report prepared by Amit Karna, Itzell Torres, Nina Campbell (May 2017).

The following report is the result of a small group research project aimed at investigating why SMEs are often so rdifficult to engage with energy issues, what barriers exist and how industry and researchers might overcome them. The three authors worked together for three months to explore this issue, meeting with seven representatives from organizations working with SMEs and thirteen managers of SMEs in the local community.

Download the report on SME engagement with energy issues.

Report by Suki Ferris, Zoe Respondek and Ahmed Bokash. MSc Energy & Society 2015-16.

Objectives of this Field Study:

1. To explore the technical potential of extracting geothermal fluids stored within the disused mine workings of Chilton and Windlestone collieries to power a district heating system for Chilton households. The research detailed within this report aimed to determine whether this theoretical concept could become future reality.

2. To investigate principal incentives and barriers from within the Chilton community regarding the investment of the Chilton Green Energy Fund into a geothermal district heating system.

View the report here.

Report by Ije Achara, Seun Akinsoji, Ellis-Anne Dunmall, Alex Hill & Weni Igirigi. MSc Energy & Society 2015-16.

This report stems from a group fieldwork project on the closure of the Green Deal, conducted at the University of Durham as part of the MSc Energy and Society degree course. This report of our findings has been prepared for NEA in recognition of their invaluable contribution towards this project.

View the report here.

MSc Energy and Society report on green deal

MSc Energy and Society report on green deal

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An MSc Energy and Society student presentation by Weni Igirigi of the group project on 'The End of the Green Deal'.