Symposium: Energy access for displaced people

· Bristol

SRUK, in collaboration with the Cabot Institute and Institute for Advanced Studies from the University of Bristol, holds a free symposium about Energy access for displaced people on 12th October at Bristol (School of Education, University of Bristol), where the energy challenges of temporary settlements were discussed.

This symposium brought together first class experts on their research topics with an audience of 32 people composed by student, academics and general public.

The event started with a great talk from Owen Grafham (Chatham House, London) co-authored the book entitled “Heat, Light and Energy for Refugees: Saving Lives, Reducing Costs”, stressed that because of the inefficient management of energy resources “about 20,000 displaced people die prematurely every year as a result of cooking with wood fires”. In addition, Owen has pointed out the importance of improving energy production sustainably in these temporary settlements to achieve an improvement in the quality of life.

Dr Mónica García (International Energy Agency, Greenhouse Gas R & D Program, IEAGHG) and technology analyst of the carbon capture team, spoke about CO2 emissions and the emerging technologies such as novel CO2 capture solvents to storage carbon in order to keep Paris Agreement’s central aim: keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius.

As an example of the most recent actions, Alejandra Rojo Losada (Center for Innovation in Technology for Human Development, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid) presented the project carried out in Northern Ethiopia by Shire Alliance, where thanks to coordination between public administration, business and university, have made progress in solving a complex problem in humanitarian action: access to energy in refugee camps.

Finally, Dr. Irene Merino Jiménez (Bristol Bioenergy Center, UK and CSIC National Center for Microelectronics, Barcelona, ​​Spain) explained the benefits of the development of microbial fuel cells, a highly innovative technological system.

The audience was shown very participative during the whole symposium, which helped to drive a round-table, moderated by Sam Williamson (Faculty of Engineering, University of Bristol, UK), where the four speakers and the audience discussed about the requirements to involve governments in improving the long-term sustainable energy access of displaced populations. As a closing event, tapas food was served where the networking continued, expecting to see each other in futures meetings with new ideas to share.