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Subsurface Energy SystemsEdinburgh Campus
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Location: Edinburgh Campus
Study mode full-time
Start Date: 2021/09/01
Duration: 12 months
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Heriot-Watt University has opted into the TEF and received a Silver award.
This course delivers the key concepts of subsurface energy and CO2 storage, geothermal energy or transitional gas and integrates geoscience, engineering, political and societal aspects important for large scale implementation of these technologies. The programme is recommended for Geoscientists, Petroleum Engineers, and Governmental Stakeholders and beyond such that they can participate in the management of subsurface reservoirs used to switch from a fossil fuel driven to a decarbonised economy.This degree is delivered by The Lyell Centre and the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering committed to delivering research and training courses that meet the needs of the international subsurface energy industry.The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts serious consequences from further emitting CO2 into the atmosphere, thereby accelerating man-made climate change. A maximum of 2°C of global temperature increase is targeted, with a strong ambition to not exceed an increase of 1.5°C. This requires drastic reductions in our CO2 emissions. Part of this decrease in emissions from fossil fuel combustion and other sources comes from promoting other energy sources, like renewable energies (i.e. wind, solar, hydro, geothermal energies) or from an increase in the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS). Surface renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydro can readily be used in the form of electrical power if sufficient capacities are installed and natural conditions are favourable enough to be economic. Installed capacities within the UK increased from about 5 GW in 2005 to about 30 GW in 2015 with an outlook of further drastic increase in capacities. In case of overproduction, electricity can be stored in grids or batteries at limited capacity. As part of a Geoenergy application, these energies will be stored in the subsurface after conversion to e.g. hydrogen, thermal energy, or compressed air until needed, allowing for back-production within short and longer time scales of hours to years.CCS overlaps with such storage sites, but with the aim of permanent storage. The UK, especially Scotland, is an attractive target for CCS implementation and is considered to significantly extend the lifetime of oil and gas reservoirs, thereby strengthening the related industrial sectors. The combined technologies of geothermal energy production, subsurface energy storage or CCS refer to the geoengineering aspects of Subsurface Energy Systems (SES). In this context, SES rather refers to the integration of Geoenergy applications with energy production at the surface as well as economic, societal and policy aspects.There is a significant demand globally for research and training in these technologies, given that many small and large integrated oil and gas companies are decarbonising their assets which, at the same time, needs to be monitored and regulated by governmental bodies. Councils across the UK and Europe are increasingly looking at the subsurface for storing or producing energy.
Entry requirements for individual programmes vary.
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About this university
Around 11,000 students travel from around 150 countries across the world to study at the university and the International Students Advisors Office or ISAO is available to assist them. They can provide help and support on everything from immigration to welfare as well as having connections across departments such as Student Support and the University Chaplaincy. They are based within the Hugh Nisbet Building on the Edinburgh campus. They can also provide help with practical matters concerning living in the UK as well as assistance for those wanting to bring their families with them to the university and accessing healthcare while here. The Student Association is the student-led organisation representing the students at both local and national level and is a member of the Edinburgh Students Forum and the National Union of Students. It was founded as the Students Representative Council in 1929 and it runs the Student Union as well as operates support for the 50 societies and clubs available to students. It also operates a number of services across the other campuses including catering, a nightclub, an advice centre and a shop. In addition, there are some 30 different sports clubs on offer and a number of annual events relating to the teams. There are also a number of events held during the year including for families and friends to visit the university and groups visits for schools and colleges.