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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

UK Energy: A Path to Net Zero, by John Higgs BSc C.Eng FIET

When: Friday, November 18, 2022, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Where: Lecture Theatre, Centre For Commercial Law Studies 67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields London WC2A 3JB

"In July this year the High Court ruled that the UK Government’s strategy for getting to Net Zero is inadequate and unlawful. In October the Government accepted this judgement.

In my lecture I will give my assessment of the current UK energy situation and offer what I believe could be a route to Net Zero emissions. My source data is the government energy statistics produced by BEIS. My analysis draws on my engineering experience in energy technologies. I have no affiliation to any company or other organisation.

I shall critically examine some of the claims made about the UK's emissions reductions and evaluate sustainable energy solutions.

I believe it is technically possible to achieve net zero and keep close to 1.5 degrees global temperature rise, but it needs an immense driving force to implement such a solution and I will explain the challenges that we need to overcome in order to succeed.

We must create a clear, realistic and attractive vision of a society based on sustainable energy; sustainable food supplies; and a healthy biosphere and show a credible and attractive route to achieving it. Without this vision there is the danger that the population will move from ignorance and denial to a fateful acceptance of an inevitable collapse of our society and civilisation as the effects of climate change become ever more present.

Somehow, we have to offer a clear way forward to a better future and try to avoid the paralysis of despair."

Slides for UK Energy: A Path to Net Zero by John Higgs BSc C.Eng FIET [PDF 2,636KB]

About John Higgs BSc C.Eng FIET

John is a Chartered Engineer with wide ranging, global experience in the development of energy projects.

Inspired by his eco-children he has coordinated setting up climate action awareness groups.

“I work to try to increase public awareness of the gravity of the climate situation, motivate people to take action and adapt to mitigate the climate change impact, and persuade people that it is possible to limit the effects of climate change if we have the courage, vision and commitment to act”.

His energy work includes:

  • Building up-country diesel and hydro power stations (VSO) in Uganda.
  • Project engineer for Hunterston B nuclear control and safety systems.
  • 1 year held ‘hostage’ in Nigeria keeping hydro power on.
  • Developed first ever safety critical microprocessor based nuclear power station turbine governing system
  • GEC Fisher Controls engineering development manager.
  • Led representation strike of 150 professional engineers.
  • National VP of UKAPE union and joined TUC.
  • Technical Manager of GEC Measurement company.
  • Created GEC Power Instrumentation and Control company and took £80m Sizewell B nuclear control & safety systems contract.
  • Was sold to French CGEE Alsthom company who defaulted on contract.
  • Independent Technical Consultant: British Gas – design of CCGT plant; Midlands Electricity – designed their electricity network automation IT policy; VP of M3i [Canadian graphics data software company].
  • Wrote sustainable energy consulting paper (2005) and with Russell Brown MP pushed select committee to set up DECC.

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