Sustainable Energy. Development. Resilience.

Category: Talks

Royal Academy of Engineering Fellows Day 2022

Long Seng To speaking at Royal Academy of Engineering Fellows’ Day 2022. Photo credit: Lucy Wheeler

As an Engineering for Development Research Fellow, it was an honour to present my work on the role of communities in energy resilience at the Royal Academy of Engineering Fellows’ Day on 17th May 2022. The event was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Academy’s work, especially on sustainable society and inclusive economy.

Read more about the Fellows’ Day here.

Webinar: Setting the Scene for Maximizing Impacts of Energy Access

It was a pleasure to speak in the webinar on ‘Setting the Scene: Maximizing the impacts of energy access on people’s development opportunities’ hosted by WISIONS of Sustainability and the ACCESS Coalition on 24th March 2022.

This webinar is the first part of the Webinar Series on how to maximize the development effects of energy access. It is increasingly recognized, that energy is inextricably linked to virtually all the SDGs. While there is an active debate on approaches to accelerate the achievement of universal energy access goal, there has been less attention to the question of how to maximize the development effects of energy access. This first webinar set the scene for the whole webinar series by exploring crucial aspects for maximizing contributions to multiple SDGs.

Read about the discussion and download further resources here.

Euro-CASE Annual Conference 2021

It was wonderful to join the discussions at Engineering to build back better, the 2021 annual conference of Euro-CASE, the European Council of Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering. I took part in a panel discussion on ‘Engineering a resilient future’ on 25th November 2021. Panelists included:

  • Professor Roger Kemp MBE FREng, RAEng Engineering X Safer Complex Systems Advisory Board Chair
  • Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder, Swedish Academy of Engineering
  • Carsten Orth Gaarn-Larsen, Senior Vice President, Technical University of Denmark
  • Dr Long Seng To, RAEng Engineering for Development Research Fellow, Loughborough University
  • Dr Elena Fersman, VP, Head of Global AI Accelerator, Ericsson

Access the conference programme and recordings here.

Keynote to launch Let Communities Lead report

I was very pleased to deliver the keynote speech at the launch of the Let Communities Lead: Stories and lessons on grassroots energy initiatives for sustainable futures report on 18th November 2021.

Community-based and inclusive renewable energy systems in underserved and marginalized communities are advancing rapidly around the world. The global initiative “Let communities lead” is an advocacy effort for increased empowerment, local ownership, and self-governance capacities. The initiative is launched by the Center for Energy and Society of the Arizona State University (ASU) and the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Read more about Let Communities Lead here.

Zero Emissions Solutions Conference at COP26

It was great to speak at the 2021 Zero Emissions Solutions Conference (ZESC) in the virtual exhibition space at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). Hosted by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the ZESC brought together leaders and scientists from businesses, governments, and academia from around the world. Taking place on sidelines of COP26, the ZESC hosted up to fifteen sessions featuring distinguished speakers who will showcase solutions relevant to the high-level champions thematic days including policy technology solutions for: finance, energy, youth, and nature.

I spoke on ‘How community energy resilience can ensure economic development’ at a session dedicated to ‘How the demand for energy is underpinning economic development’ on 3rd November 2021.

SDG 7 Pavilion at COP26

It was a great honour to speak at the SDG7 Pavilion at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1st November 2021. The session focused on ‘How do we scale low carbon cooking?’ and was hosted by Sustainable Energy for All. I highlight how the UN Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) can help to scale low carbon cooking and shift investments into the sector. The session was chaired by Steven Hunt (FCDO) and speakers included:

  • Ambassador Dr Monica Juma (Cabinet Secretary Energy, Kenya),
  • Joint Secretary Ram Gopal Kharbuja (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation (MoEWRI), Nepal), 
  • Anne Songole (ACCESS Coalition), 
  • Simon Batchelor (Modern Energy Cooking Services/Gamos), 
  • Ben Jeffreys (ATEC*),
  • Irene Wanjohi (Kenya Power)
  • Long Seng To (Loughborough University/UN Expert Group on Resource Management).
From left to right: Steven Hunt (FCDO), Ambassador Monica Juma (Cabinet Secretary Energy, Kenya), Ram Gopal Kharbuja (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation (MoEWRI), Nepal), Long Seng To (Loughborough University, UN Expert Group on Resource Management), Anne Songole (ACCESS Coalition). Photo: Biraj Gautam/PEEDA, 2021

Watch the session here (starting from 18:30 in the recording).

Seminar at University of Birmingham

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It was wonderful to present a seminar on ‘Energy resilience in the Global South’ hosted by the School of Chemical Engineering, part of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham on 27th October 2021. I really enjoyed meeting staff and students working on energy and other topics.

Net Zero Futures 21 Conference

It was great to join the Net Zero Futures 21 Conference organised by the Energy Research Accelerator and the Centre for Postdoctoral Development in Infrastructure, Cities and Energy (C-DICE) on 27th October 2021 at the University of Birmingham. The event was a unique conference for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers whose work contributes to the Government’s target of Net Zero Carbon emissions by 2050. I spoke in the panel discussion on ‘Future challenges for Net Zero and sustainable energy’. The session was chaired by Katherine Jackson and speakers included:

  • Dr Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association
  • Dr Long Seng To, RAEng Engineering for Development Research Fellow and Lecturer in Resilient Energy Systems, Loughborough University
  • Dr Yesmeen Khalifa, Research Associate, Keele University
  • Dr Samuel Pering, Doctoral Prize Fellow, Loughborough University

Read more about the conference here.

Going Clean webinar for UK DIT

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It was great to speak about ‘What is the United Nations Framework for Resource Classification (UNFC) to Solar Energy?‘ as part of the Going Clean webinar series hosted by the UK Department for International Trade on 7th September 2021.

Clean energy is emerging as one of the key strategic industries of the 21st century, with global trade in solar and wind related products rivalling that of the trade in oil and gas. International trade in clean energy products and services represents a major opportunity for Global Britain to support partners across the world in tackling climate change.

Going Clean aims to bring clarity to how the clean energy sector is governed, looking at the structure of the markets, the intricacies of the supply chains, the geopolitics of trade, and the expert networks that drive deployment.

In this Going Clean event, I joined Department of International Trade Clean Energy Sector Specialist Dr Richard Hall to discuss the Specifications for the application United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) to Solar Energy and how it can lead to greater investment in solar energy.

Read more about the event here.

Webinar: A participatory approach for visualising energy resilience

Thank you to the Society of Circular, Regenerative, and Sustainable Systems for inviting Xinfang Wang, Louise Reardon, Asha Singh and I to speak at their inaugural webinar on 20th May 2021.

Our talk was about ‘A Participatory Approach for Visualising Energy Resilience in Nepal from a Whole-System Perspective’.

Understanding how and in what ways to foster resilience within energy systems is a complex issue, encapsulating a diversity of factors. This complexity creates barriers to effective decision-making towards resilience, where a whole-systems approach is required amidst a relatively siloed governance landscape.

To support decision making in this area, this talk discussed how a bottom-up participatory approach can be valuable in enabling decision-makers and key stakeholders to visualise the complexity of energy systems resilience, and in turn help facilitate the application of a whole-systems approach to the design of sustainable policy interventions towards more resilient systems.

The talk outlined the participatory causal loop mapping approach, highlight the method’s value in identifying the variables and visualising interconnections affecting energy resilience in Nepal, as a case study. Nepal has experienced energy supply disruption from both long-term energy supply deficiency and short-term shocks. The outcomes of our bottom-up participatory workshop with key stakeholders show the significant benefit of using this approach to enable participants visualising the complexity of energy systems resilience and creating a shared understanding of ways in which resilience can be improved.

Webinar: Energy resilience in the Global South

It was a pleasure to present a webinar on ‘Energy resilience in the Global South: the vital role of communities’ at the Centre for Data Science at the Coventry University on 14th May 2021. The talk covered the need for research on energy resilience, the vital role that communities play in creating solutions and an overview of my current work in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

You can read more about the webinar here.

UNECE Resource Management Week 2021: Renewable Energy Workshop

I was delighted to join for the Renewable Energy Workshop at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) Resource Management Week 2021 on 26 April. The workshop focused on integrated water-energy management and I contributed to a panel on ‘Should integrated energy companies have integrated information systems?’. The panel discussed the value that the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources brings to different stakeholders.

Read more about the UNECE Resource Management Week 2021 here.

2nd Urban Resilience Asia Pacific Conference

I was delighted to organise and present a session at the 2nd Urban Resilience Asia Pacific Conference (URAP2) online on 4th December 2020. The session focused on ‘Energy resilience and disasters in the South Pacific: political economy dynamics, community responses and planning’. The session presented a synthesis of three workshops on Energy Resilience in Pacific Island Countries in 2020 concerning planning and investing in more resilient energy systems, energy resilience and the political economy of off-grid solar and community energy resilience strategies in response to disasters. The session was presented in collaboration with Dr Anna Bruce (UNSW), Dr Iain MacGill (UNSW), Dr Paul Munro (UNSW) and Dr Atul Raturi (University of the South Pacific).

You can watch the URAP2 session below (starting at 17:16:05 on the recording).

Fellowship Inaugural Lecture

It was a pleasure to deliver my Fellowship Inaugural Lecture on Community Energy Resilience on 23 October 2019 at Loughborough University.

You can listen to the lecture here.

Video: Community energy resilience in developing countries

The UK Energy Research Centre made this awesome video featuring the Research Collaborations for Community Energy Resilience and Electricity Systems project which received funding from their Whole Systems Networking Fund.

Read my accompanying blog post here.

International workshop on the New Climate Urbanism

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I was delighted to present a paper on ‘Community energy resilience in the era of climate change’ at the New Climate Urbanism workshop on 4-5 September 2019 hosted by the Urban Institute, University of Sheffield. The international workshop explored the changing relationship between cities and climate change.

Read more about the workshop here.

Webinar: Resilience and reliability of energy projects in Nepal

In this webinar, I present a summary of the discussions from the ‘Research collaborations for community energy resilience and electricity systems’ project so far. I focus on the South Asia regional workshop held in Nepal in February 2019.

Read a full description of the webinar here and download the slides here.

Talk at UKERC Annual Assembly

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I’m looking forward to speaking at the UK Energy Research Centre  (UKERC) Annual Assembly at the University of Sheffield on Thursday 12th July 2018. Join me at the Networking Fund session for an update on the Research Collaborations for Community Energy Resilience in Low-Income Countries project.

Learn more about the UKERC Whole Systems Network Fund which supports the project here.

LCEDN annual conference 2018: resilience sessions

I was delighted to launch the Research Collaborations for Community Energy Resilience project on 1 June 2018 with two conference sessions at the LCEDN Annual Conference held at Loughborough University, UK called ‘Under the Grid’ and ‘Resilience Concepts for Energy’. I gave a presentation about community energy resilience in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake.

Read more about the conference here.

Talk at University of Oxford

I was very pleased to represent my Nature Energy paper on ‘Mapping synergies and trade-offs between energy and the Sustainable Development Goals’ at the Practical Challenges of Sustainable Electrification in Africa workshop at the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, University of Oxford on 7th June 2018.

Read the full paper here.

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