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Energy plans that add up

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Jon Cullen.

In David Mackay’s talk last year, which was one of the highlights of the series, he showed that it would be very difficult to provide the UK’s current energy needs through renewable sources alone. Inevitably, in the discussion after his talk, that raised the question “if not renewables, what should we do?” – and that’s the basis for this talk. How do we make a sustainable energy plan that adds up?

David MacKay obtained his PhD in Computation and Neural Systems at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include reliable computation with unreliable hardware, and communication systems for the disabled. He’s written a textbook on ‘Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms’ (2003, Cambridge). He’s just finished another free book on `Sustainable Energy – without the hot air.’ (

This talk is part of the ELCF - Engineering for a Low Carbon Future (seminar series) series.

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