The scheme is concerned with energy consumption at the level of the individual household, i.e. the energy used directly by the residents and industries for heat and power energy.



The storyline:

You take a keen interest in community affairs in a city where you live or a city of your choice. In recent years, you have also become increasingly concerned with sustainability issues, and you would like to see local people actively involved in the promotion of greater environmental responsibility.

You are supposed to develop a scheme that could in your view achieve a significant reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions from energy use by residential, industries and transportation in that city. You believe your plan to be realistic, feasible and cost-effective.

You have spoken informally about it to the local district Councillor, who is sympathetic but slightly sceptical. She has asked you to present a report on the scheme for consideration.

Your scheme

  • The scheme is concerned with energy consumption at the level of the individual household, i.e. the energy used directly by the residents and industries for heat and power energy.
  • The aim of the scheme is to reduce total carbon emissions resulting from residential and industry in the city of your choice to achieve carbon neutrality in the city in the next 10 years.
  • To allow a range of options, you have included at least two scenarios from a combination of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies applied in power generation and industrial processes, using renewable energy systems (e.g., solar, wind, geothermal) and end-user energy efficiency improvement (e.g., Micro-CHP systems, renewable combined with conventional, etc.) for reducing energy consumption and obtaining energy from sustainable sources.
  • Carbon saving in transportation and using high-efficiency energy storage technologies will improve the completeness of your scenarios.
  • In these scenarios please present the implementation timeline, as well as the technical and operational challenges and possible risks.

 (The proposal that householders could simply buy their electricity from existing ‘green energy’ suppliers should not form your scheme!)

  • You need to calculate/estimate the total electrical and heat energy required for the town and the current CO2 emission and compare your suggested scenarios to offer the best option in terms of carbon saving and financial advantages.
  • For your selected city use the available statistics for the numbers of houses and residential apartments and industries.
  • Carbon saving scenarios in city transportation will add an extra advantage to your report.

The following report might be of help: (Links to an external site.)

Your report

  • Your report must include clear descriptions of the area, population and housing that will be affected by the scheme.
  • An estimate of the present annual CO2 emissions will be required. These are the emissions produced by the present power plants providing electricity of the town and energy-consuming activities at the household level. You will need to explain your assumptions about the consumption and the present energy supply systems.
  • Your report should include a description of each proposed measure in the scheme, an estimate of the likely cost, discussion of the advantages and disadvantages, and your reasons for recommending it. The two types of measure – reducing consumption or changing to sustainable sources – will probably require rather different approaches in supporting your recommendations. Energy-saving measures are likely to affect individuals or households most directly, whereas changes in centralised energy sources may involve more general issues.
  • You may include as many measures as you wish as long as your scheme complies with the description above but bear in mind the 3000-word limit on your report. You may use appendices if necessary. You will need to strike a balance between the number of proposals and the detail you can provide on each one.
  • You may wish to refer briefly to options other than those you have proposed, and the reasons for rejecting them.
  • Bearing in mind the principal aim of the scheme, an assessment of the reduction in CO2 emissions resulting from each measure is essential. You may wish to consider the need to find a balance between meeting the 100% carbon reduction target (carbon neutrality) and other factors that might limit the extent of the changes.
  • Your final report should include a title page, table of content, abstract, introduction and literature review, description of the scope, scenarios and evaluation of presented solutions (e.g., technical, financial, etc.) completing with discussion and concluding remarks, future works and references.

Your readers

The Councillors will have a great deal of local knowledge, but are likely to vary in their technical knowledge, and may not have given much thought to energy systems until now. It would be sensible to regard them as reasonably intelligent people who could be expected to understand the broad technical and financial reasons for your recommendations but will not want to struggle with excessive detail.

Their common concerns are likely to be about matters such as the financial implications, the response of the electorate, effects on the local environment and employment. However, they will also have a wider perspective and will be interested in ideas which can show them as forward-thinking and responsive.

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