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Our special ‘COP in Focus’ episodes are uncovering the road to net zero - this time it's all about energy

  • 04 November 2021
  • 16 min listen

As world leaders meet to discuss the future of resource use and sustainable practises at COP26, Dr Amitava Roy chats to the Life Solved podcast about his work in energy systems of the future.

A zero-carbon future

Decades of intense fossil fuel-based energy technologies have contributed to global warming and climate change, which is having a devastating impact upon life on earth.

It is really vital to decarbonize the system so that there is no net CO2 emission or other greenhouse gases entering our atmosphere. Otherwise, we're going to see more extreme weather patterns with an increase in global temperature.

Dr Amitava Roy, Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy Systems

In the UK, energy use accounts for a hefty proportion of the national carbon footprint, so how can we heat and power modern life without causing further damage to the planet?

By developing technologies that no longer emit greenhouse gases, Dr Roy is playing a part in the bid to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

But it’s not just energy use that needs to be considered – its supply and generation also need a clean-up.

Going green with renewably-powered production

In the podcast, Amit explains a few of the options available to create greener energy for heating, power and transportation. From renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass, to his latest project in hydrogen gas.

I have an interest in various segments within hydrogen energy, starting from hydrogen production via electrolysis of water, using electricity from renewables, like wind energy or solar photovoltaics, or via smart grid balancing.

Dr Amitava Roy, Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy Systems

In addition to his role as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, Amit is the CEO of Engas Global. This company has just won funding to produce ‘green’ hydrogen to refuel hydrogen outboard boats at the marina in Portsmouth.

This project ties together renewable electricity in the production of hydrogen through processes such as electrolysis which creates water as a by-product instead of harmful greenhouse gases. This kind of process goes hand in hand with carbon capture and storage to remove emissions from the atmosphere. But it all relies on innovative tech!

I have a serious interest in capturing CO2 from raw biogas or landfill gas. So I have developed some technologies and solutions to capture CO2 and then convert it into a useful form.

Dr Amitava Roy, Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy Systems

Tech for the future

Amit thinks his role is to make sure the technology and knowledge is available not only to make a difference now but to pass the baton to the next generation.

As pledges from nations emerge at COP26, the journey towards net-zero is only beginning in earnest, but Amit is optimistic that with the right economic incentives for people and businesses, it may soon be possible for all areas of society to embrace renewable and clean energy.

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