I was initially attracted to this role as my PhD research is part of EPSRC funded project, RESNET addressing challenges of Great Britain electricity grid from climate change impacts. I have worked in the industry for 7 years specifically on renewable energy and micro grids. So this project really fits into my research interests. In addition to the high reputation of the University, another key factor in deciding to undertake the research in Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research where I am based is because of its really good mix of interdisciplinary scientists.
The PhD research focuses on the operational resilience of GB electricity grid under high electrification of energy systems within a changing climate and the potential role for smart grids in achieving resilience for GB electricity grid. The research provides insights on variations in supply and demand under extreme weather conditions and how that will impact the operation of electricity grid out to 2050. The research is developing supply scenarios for the electricity demand on an hourly basis. Apart from focusing on the PhD I am involved in the teaching side specifically, REACT course and co-supervising undergraduate projects.
The most interesting part is the wide expertise within the School which is really helpful for the progress of research. Being an interdisciplinary research centre, Tyndall Manchester along with other Tyndall partners provides a really good network on energy and climate change related research. National Grid is a stake holder of the research project (RESNET) and my analysis on the resilience of grid from extreme weather events will provide new insights on the challenges and opportunities of the future electricity grid.
The RESNET project has partners from Newcastle University, School of EEE and Mathematics dept. I attend regular meetings and present my research outputs to the group. I am also working with other colleagues in MACE who focus on renewable technologies. I gave a presentation about global energy consumption to students at Manchester Universities Earth Week and appeared in BBC northwest talking about geothermal energy project in Manchester. I also attend various conferences/ meetings/scenario workshops related to UK grid, smart grid and renewable energy in other universities and industry.
I believe a real ‘game changer’ in my area of research would be the high deployment of renewable energy and advancements in storage technology which will make a fundamental shift in the way electricity grid is operating now. This also provides opportunities for high electrification of energy systems. Once I have completed my PhD I would be keen to continue work in the academia on smart grids and distribution networks.