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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Thomas McGonagle

The democratisation of energy: A study into the decentralisation of power generation and potential


The way in which we harness and use energy creates an interesting dichotomy between regions in terms of development, especially during a period in humanity where we are facing  converging threats of considerable magnitude borne from unprecedented population growth, environmental deterioration and overconsumption of non-renewable mineral resources. Technological advances over the past 30 years suggest that the optimal model for energy distribution may no longer lie in the conventional central distribution system that we are familiar with; This research will assess the viability of decentralised power at a systems level before applying this concept  within case studies of the UK and Tanzania. This research provides some policy and market insights that could help to develop energy security within a low-carbon energy mix, and it discusses the use of decentralised power to improve the access
to electricity in a developing country.