The specific aims of this coursework are to;
- develop your sensitivity towards your own consumption of energy, and corresponding carbon footprint
- understand your personal contribution to climate change, and
- consider ways in which this could be reduced
- reflect on issues around the decarbonisation of energy
A further objective of the coursework is to
- develop your ability to make intelligent assumptions to arrive at sensible conclusions based on a limited set of data and general information.
Making as many assumptions as are needed, and using the sources of data provided and any other relevant information you can find, calculate the primary energy consumption of your lifestyle over the past 12 months in Joules per year (J/y), or multiples of joules per year, such as GJ/y. Using appropriate conversion figures, convert this energy consumption to a ‘carbon footprint’ (kgCO2e)
Find two other fellow students; one from outside of the EU and one from inside the EU and compare your footprint with theirs. You should consider, and report on, what the main drivers are for the differences seen.
In your report, we expect to see a pie chart, and a table, showing carbon dioxide emissions attributable to the following categories (calculated and itemised for the last 12 months of your life):
due to living at home and attributed to you (e.g. total emissions divided by number of people living there)
- due to being at work/university (e.g. this might be annual energy consumption for the building per m2 multiplied by the area of space that can be attributed to you, (e.g. my office is 10m2 per person, so I would use 10m2 worth of a typical higher education building)
- due to transport out of your home country (e.g. 2 long haul flights per year)
- due to commuting/transport within your home country (e.g. 1 return train per month, 19 bus trips per month)
- due to embodied energy for products you buy (select only major items, e.g. computer, car)
- due to general diet, e.g. vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, 100% meat eater or whatever mix you may be, (not necessary to work out contribution of every meal, just general average perhaps for your country is fine).
We do not expect you to include or comment on CO2 emissions related to any hobbies that you may follow.
We do expect you to comment on the following:
- Whether your carbon footprint is “sustainable”?
- What lifestyle changes might be necessary to reduce your footprint to sustainable levels?
- How has Covid-19 affected your carbon footprint?
- How renewable energy could reduce your carbon footprint?
We expect you to clearly state your assumptions or the basis for any simplifications you have made, we are looking for sensible simplifications and reasonable assumptions, the results you get are always going to be inaccurate; a reflection on the process of getting your results is also worth adding. You may write in the first person, e.g.
You can use any data you can find, but you should try and find primary sources, (not Wikipedia) and all your sources should be referenced using Harvard notation.
mark 1 Introduction
basic description of the context and aims of the study 20%
mark 2 The calculation
description of methods and assumptions 30%
mark 3 Clarity and range of discussion
analyses of results and discussion of findings in relation to the context 30%
mark 4 Conclusion
summary of the study and your concluding remarks 10%
mark 5 Presentation
clarity and effectiveness of communication (incl. figures and tables) 10%
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