Where in the UK Should I Do My Postgraduate Energy Studies?


If you want a career in the energy industry, the first thing you need to do is get yourself a qualification in energy. There are loads of universities in the UK that offer a range of different energy related postgraduate courses and not all of them require an undergraduate in energy – some are happy with engineering and other disciplines. Taking one of these courses will give you the skills and knowledge you need to enter your dream energy career straight after graduation.


Taking a Master’s degree is an excellent way to make your CV shine and get you noticed when it comes to recruitment. It puts you ahead of people with just a Bachelor’s degree and allows you to become more specialised in an area you find interesting.


If you are thinking about studying an energy Master’s degree in the UK, here are some great courses at some of the best universities in the country for you to consider.  


Electrical Power Systems Engineering, University of Manchester


This taught Master’s course is ideal for those with an interest in the electricity sector. The programme runs full-time over one year, or part-time over the course of two years. Students will learn about the latest developments in the electricity industry as well as electrical power system plants, and advanced power system analysis. The course begins with a review of the fundamentals of power systems and goes from there, offering a challenging and stimulating year or two for its students.


Energy Technologies, University of Cambridge


Shine bright among the best at the University of Cambridge on this incredibly detailed and fascinating Master’s programme. The course will teach its students how to come up with solutions to the world’s energy problems. They learn about the science behind the technologies used in areas such as energy utilisation and electricity generation. The degree also gives students an overview of energy engineering, which is an essential component to understanding the current energy technologies.


Energy Demand Studies, UCL


The website for this particular Master’s course explains that the degree is one of a kind in the UK. Throughout the programme, students will look at the importance of the energy demand as well as the economic and political implications of nations that export and import energy. There is also a heavy focus on research as well as an overview of energy theory. By the end, students feel like they have a well rounded understanding of the energy sector.


Sustainable Energy Technologies, University of Warwick


The world is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of sustainable energy and it is more important than ever that we have professionals who have a deep understanding of the issue. This course gives students a profound understanding of the technologies that underpin sustainable energy. Wind, solar and bioenergy are just a few of the sustainable energies studied on this programme. Students have four core modules they must complete, which include fuel cells and energy storage and renewable energy. They then have a choice of various optional modules, of which they are required to choose four.




Who Created the GEC?


The GEC was created by NRG Expert, a leading independent energy market research company. This puts those taking the qualification in a uniquely advantageous position. Not only can students of the GEC add to their CV with this accredited certification, but they are also able to take full advantage of the extensive knowledge of NRG Expert.


The GEC is one division of NRG Expert. It was designed by the company’s experts to enable people to develop their expertise in the energy sector and either break into or progress within this highly exciting and competitive industry. The course can be completed online and is taught using study guides produced entirely by NRG Expert. Its low fee and online format make the course accessible to virtually everyone, which is exactly what NRG Expert wanted, to share their passion for energy with anyone who is willing to listen!


Tell me more about NRG Expert


NRG Expert was set up by Melany Krangle, one of the founders of ABS Energy Research. When ABS closed down, Krangle struck out alone and founded NRG Expert. After 10 years with ABS, she knew exactly what she was doing and is now successfully managing NRG Expert. Now, NRG Expert provides information to its customers on virtually every aspect of the energy world. Topics covered include renewables, gas & oil, water & waste, electricity, nuclear and more.


The company produces databases and reports, which are then purchased by companies and play a key role in helping them develop their business strategies. The data compiled is high quality and reliable and this keeps customers coming back for more and more data year after year. Once the business has the database and research in its hands, it can then use the information to make important and potentially game-changing, decisions about their energy infrastructure and projects.


In addition to data and research about the global energy market, NRG Expert also produces forecasts to help companies predict what kind of shifts in the energy world they may need to look out for. All of this information is input into an online browser, which makes finding the exact piece of data you need incredibly easy. With hundreds of thousands of lines of data, the browser system is a real life-saver. Customers are also able to search through the data by country – with over 210 countries and overseas territories being accounted for by NRG Expert’s research.


Finally, NRG Expert is invested in its customers. It does not simply send you a report and wish you all the best. NRG Expert also offers its customers a consulting service. This means that the company will get to know your business intimately and work with you, hands-on, to develop business plans and increase energy efficiency. Whatever the project, there is bound to be someone in the team of experts who will have a specialised expertise in the area you need help with. What’s more, NRG Expert won’t take on the project and lure you in with a senior expert and then hand you over to a junior member of the team. You will have an experienced energy expert on hand at all times.


As you can see, energy is more than just a job for the team at NRG Expert – it is a way of life. This is why you can trust that the GEC will equip you with the highest level of knowledge and skill before you embark on your career journey into the energy market.

How Do the GEC Exam Dates Work?

The Global Energy Certification (GEC) is an online course designed to prepare you for a career in the energy industry. The course aims to broaden your skillset by equipping you with enhanced analytical skills as well as a solid understanding of the global energy market. The GEC is completed 100% online, which makes it easy to fit around your schedule and won’t cause you to relocate or waste money travelling to class every day.


The course was created by NRG Expert, an energy company who wanted to help energy industry hopefuls brush up their resumes so that they can impress in interviews. All of the course material was written by NRG Expert and access to these materials is included in the tuition fee, which is a one off payment of £330. This fee also includes the examination at the end of the course.


At the end of the online course, every student will be required to complete a two hour online exam. This exam will determine whether or not you pass the GEC course. The exam is in a multiple choice format and can be done on your computer from the comfort of your home. Participants are welcome to use their notes while they take the exam but anyone found to have cheated will have their qualification voided. If you do not pass the exam then you can re-sit it for a fee of £175.


Admissions to the GEC occur on a rolling basis. This means that you can join up at any time of the year. Once you have registered for the course, you then have 12 months to complete the course and take the exam. Don’t worry though, most people can complete it all within just a few months. If you don’t feel like you are able to complete the exam within 12 months, you must inform NRG Expert as soon as possible so that they can make arrangements for you to take the exam another time. If you do not let them know you may be charged £175 to sit the exam at a later date.


Once you have registered for the course, you must wait a minimum of six weeks before you can sit the exam. This is because six weeks is the minimum amount of time necessary to complete the required work – 100 hours of study of the manual and study guide. On the 10th of every month, students will have the opportunity to sit the exam. In order to sit and exam on the 10th you must have registered before the 1st of the previous month. For example, to take the exam on April 10th you must have registered by March 1st at the latest.


You are not bound to sit the exam in any particular month. This means that you can complete the course at your own pace and take the test when you feel ready – provided that this is within 12 months of registration.


The GEC is an excellent way to broaden your understanding of the energy sector and stand out as a candidate when you enter the job market. Not only does the qualification show your commitment to a career in energy, but it also gives you the confidence you need to walk into that interview room and blow your prospective employer away.

What Will the Impact of Brexit be on UK Oil and Gas?


There is no doubt that the impact of Brexit is going to be felt in the UK oil and gas industry. Indeed, from the second the result was announced shockwaves were sent through every sector in the UK – more profoundly than anyone could have ever predicted. We are now almost two years on from that fateful results day and the future for the UK and its industries still looks as unclear as ever, despite the departure date being set for May 2019.

The first thing that could really impact the oil and gas industry is a reduction in the workforce if a hard Brexit goes ahead. 5% of the UK’s oil and gas employees are from outside of the EU and a further 5% are from EU countries outside of the UK. 10% might not seem a lot to lose but that 5% of EU employees holds around 50% of the managerial positions in the industry. Without these workers, critical projects could be severely delayed or scrapped altogether.

While the trade body is urging the Theresa May’s government not to go overboard with post-Brexit immigration requirements, it is likely that the UK’s withdrawal from the Single Market and Customs Union will negatively impact workers moving into the UK’s oil and gas industry.

With regards to the oil and gas products themselves, experts believe that the UK will become more and more dependent on imports to meet the country’s growing energy demand. By 2030, imports are likely to account for around 60% ok the UK’s oil and gas demand.

Looking at the industry’s supply chain and trade functions, the impact is likely to be great. Currently, the UK engages in about £73 billion worth of oil and gas related trade with the rest of the world. Once the UK leaves the EU and new trade agreements are created, the imposition of additional tariffs will have a seriously detrimental effect on the industry.

Hopefully, the UK will be able to negotiate the lowest possible tariffs with the EU and better tariffs with the rest of the world. This would reduce the current £600 million cost of trade per annum under EU rules to £500 million. However, this is a best case scenario. The worst case scenario is that the World Trade Organisation framework kicks in and the cost doubles to over £1 billion per year.

One area that Brexit is unlikely to touch is tax on oil and gas systems. These regulations have been enshrined in UK law for a long time and are not going to change. The EU has no remit over this area. Nevertheless, monetary policy is still worth examining, especially considering exchange rates are likely to carry on affecting trade once Brexit is finalised in May of next year.

There is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the impact Brexit will have on the oil and gas industry in the UK. Yet, despite this, oil and gas investments in 2018 are forecast to be greater than the last three years combined. This shows that the industry is resilient in the face of its challenges and should be able to overcome anything Brexit throws in its path.


4 Facts about the Energy Industry

maxresdefault (5).jpgThe energy industry is one of the most fascinating and diverse sectors in the world. Ever-changing and developing at an increasingly fast rate, every day we hear about new discoveries being made as new processes are created and fine-tuned.


Energy touches us in ways we don’t even acknowledge on a day-to-day basis. Every time we switch on a light or google something or boil the kettle we are using energy. But, how often do we think about where this energy has come from or how it has ended up in our house? The energy industry covers everything, from the first drilling operations at a new well to the final stage as it is delivered into your household appliances.

With energy being so omnipresent in our lives, it is probably a good idea to know a bit about it, right? Here are some important facts about energy that will lay down the foundations for your understanding about the sector.

There are Five Main Energy-Consuming Sectors

 Where does all this energy that we produce go exactly? Well in the USA, energy consumption is divided into 5 main sectors. These are: electric power, residential, commercial, transportation and industrial. Electric power generally uses the most energy and this energy is used to create electricity, which is then consumed by the rest of the country, including the other four sectors mentioned above. The residential and commercial sectors tend to consume the least amount of energy.

One Wind Turbine Can Generate Enough Power for 1,400 Homes

 Renewable energy is a serious business and that is why people are pouring billions of dollars into developing renewable technologies. If we progress at the rate we would like to, we will be able to say goodbye to unclean energy in the foreseeable future. A green future would mean better air and water quality along with a huge number of other benefits.

Currently wind power is one of the strongest contenders for the renewable that will lead the way to this vision of a green future. Indeed, one wind turbine alone can generate enough energy for 1,400 homes. In 2017, China was building two wind turbines every hour!

In 2016, Portugal Ran Off Renewables Alone for 107 Hours

 2016 saw Portugal make history as it completed a 107 hour stint fuelling the country with nothing but energy generated by renewable sources. Since then, the renewables industry has gone from strength to strength. However, fossil fuels are still very much part of the equation. G20 countries offer fossil fuels subsidies of up to four times as much as is offered to renewables. Yet, renewables create around five times more jobs each year than fossil fuels so it is clear which way the sector is going.

At Any One Time 15 Trillion Watts of Power are Being Used

 For those not familiar with the concept of watts, 15 trillion watts is the equivalent of 10 billion 100-watt light bulbs all being used at the same time. As the population of earth continues to grow, so will its level of energy consumption. However, the hope is that smart technologies in the future will offset this increase and keep the planet from exhausting its resources or being damaged beyond repair.


What We Can Learn about the Future of Solar from Nuclear’s Past

1 (2).jpgIn 2011, the Fukushima reactors had a meltdown following an earthquake and tsunami. But, the results of this catastrophe have not solely been felt in Japan. All over the world, nuclear has begun to fall apart and reactors are being closed down at an accelerating pace while industry giants bleed profits. With these mass closures, it looks highly unlikely that the world’s production of nuclear electricity will ever reach its peak again.

However, while the nuclear world was in turmoil in 2011, the solar sector had a great year. In 2011, the total installed capacity of global solar power almost doubled. This was partly thanks to Chinese-manufactured solar panels being introduced to the market, which cut costs by about a third. Ever since, the solar industry has been growing at a rate of 18% per year. Although nuclear still supplies 5 times more than solar, it is a safe bet to says that solar is going to help make up for lost nuclear power. It is currently the cheapest power source on the planet.

However, we have had high hopes like this for an energy source in the past – namely nuclear. It was predicted that nuclear power would become too cheap to meter and that it would alleviate food and water scarcity. These were the dreams of the 1960s.

The histories of solar and nuclear are actually far more intertwined than you might think. Just after the war, nuclear took the global lime light and sucked up most of its funding. Now, there has been a dramatic shift away from investing in nuclear and towards pouring resources into the development of renewables. Indeed, there are hopes from the solar industry that nuclear can be left behind for good.

This would be an error. Solar and nuclear go hand in hand. Solar power is not a reliable energy source as it requires the sun to be shining. Nuclear will need to work in tandem with solar to balance out its fluctuations. What’s more, only by understanding what caused nuclear’s meltdown can solar avoid having its own.

This is not the most obvious comparison but there is a cautionary tale here. Nuclear technology advancement has stagnated. Advanced designs that would allow us to build cheaper and more efficient reactors have remained on the drawing board for decades and solar could experience a similar thing.

We are not seeing enough break throughs in the labs to make solar technology costs fall fast enough to justify the eroding value of solar. A lack of investment from large Asia firms that dominate the energy market is alarming.

With this in mind, the world should bear in mind what happened to nuclear power as it attempts to further solar power. Nuclear was an attempt to curb carbon emissions. Solar then took the reins on this mission. If solar power stalls in the same way nuclear did, the world will not get a third try at decarbonisation. The impact on climate change from this failure would be catastrophic.

There has been a lot said about the gradual decline of nuclear power and the meteoric rise in solar. It is thought that solar could displace fossil fuels and replace nuclear energy, which is clean but still undesirable. But, this is a dangerous view. Energy may well be the star of our future’s energy mix, but it is going to need support – notably from nuclear.

Now is the time to invest in solar power, to keep it from following the same trajectory as nuclear and peaking before it reaches our incredibly high expectations.

UK Fights Back Against Fracking By Rejecting Seven Out Of Eight Plans

As the latest application from Ineos to investigate the potential for shale gas in South Yorkshire is rejected, the total number of planning decisions that have been turned down this year hits seven. Local councillors voted against the initiative in a clear move that shows the county’s view on fracking.

The plan was rejected by the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough based on the fact that it could potentially damage the wildlife in the area and increase traffic. It was stated that not enough research had been done as to the ecological effects of such a project. Those against the project suggested that there might be some serious noise pollution as well as air and water contamination. Ineos, a UK-based petrochemicals company was planning on drilling a well just outside the village of Woodsetts.

The company rebutted by saying that any work undertaken would be on a small scale and would not have a significant impact of the local agriculture. Furthermore, the site would be on land that had little ecological value. Nevertheless, the proposal was quashed unanimously by the council’s planning board.

This rejection is the seventh to have come from councils throughout the Midlands and North this year. The applications have proposed a variety of things, included testing new wells, drilling brand new ones and revising traffic plans.

It makes perfect sense that the councils controlled by the Labour party are voting against all fracking applications. It has been a part of the party’s manifesto for a while now to implement a national policy that would ban fracking in this country. However, it is surprising to see that some of the dissenting councils are Tory-led, despite the party’s commitment to developing a shale industry in the UK.

So far, the only company to have had some success with their application is Cuadrilla. They proposed testing for oil flows at a well that has already been drilled near the village of Balcombe in West Sussex.

The delays that come with rejection after rejection are just another obstacle that oil companies are having to get over. Financial tests, imposed by ministers upon companies hoping to obtain permission from the government to begin fracking operations, are also having an effect. These tests have been blamed for Third Energy postponing their fracking until autumn at a site in North Yorkshire.

Five years ago it would take around 13 weeks to get a planning decision as to whether or not a company could go ahead with the drilling of a new well for exploration purposes. Now the average wait time is around 58 weeks – over a year!

Ineos is hoping to be able to use fast-track powers that were created by the government in 2015. The company hopes to receive a definite answer regarding two separate potential drilling sites in Derbyshire and Rotherham. Despite being fast-track, the process is still anticipated to take months.

The owner of Ineos, billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, has not been shy in his advocacy for extracting shale gas in the UK. He has his eyes on a number of sites he wishes to explore, including Woodsetts.

Friends of the Earth back the decision by the Rotherham council and have said that the decision is deeply significant. Naturally, Ineos was far less pleased with the outcome.