The UCL Grand Challenges aim to address global problems that must be solved for future generations to have the opportunity to flourish.
Our research has a direct impact on the UCL Grand Challenges. Energy, the lack of it, as well as the emissions caused through its use and generation have profound and wide-ranging implications for society.
- Lack of access to clean forms of energy.
- 1.6 billion people are exposed to adverse health risks because of lack of access to electricity.
- In the UK, there are between 20,000 and 50,000 yearly excess winter deaths – many caused by the poor energy efficiency of the UK housing stock.
- Access to secure and clean forms of energy is essential for the sustainable operation of cities.
- 75% of world energy use occurs in cities where over 50% of the world's population now lives.
- In developed countries, up to half of the energy is used to condition the built environment.
- The energy we use directly impacts on the urban heat island and with a changing climate how will energy use change in urban areas?
- More than 70% of the known global reserves of gas and oil are located in the Middle East and former Soviet Union.
- Past peak oil production accessing limited fossil fuel reserves will increasingly drive international conflicts.
- Conflicts between biomass energy and food are also possible.
- We have an innate ability to think up new ways of using energy to have fun.
- How does energy use impact on our quality of life?
- Should each individual have a human right to access a certain amount of clean and secure energy?
- Can you consume too much energy?