Focus falls on UK renewables technology

News editor

The House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee is to hold a public evidence session on bioenergy tomorrow, asking how biofuel sustainability can be ensured whilst reducing greenhouse emissions.

The session will consider the impacts of emissions associated with direct and indirect land-use change, and also ask if UK industry is well-positioned to take advantage of the development of bioenergy.

Pertinently, it will consider the effects on countries that grow the feedstock and export to the EU, which reportedly needs imported biofuels to meet renewables targets.

Those giving evidence include Duncan MacQueen, International Institute for Environment and Development, Dr Alena Buyx, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, and Dr David Clarke, Energy Technologies Institute.

Still with the Select Committee, it has issued a report on the future of marine renewables in the UK.

Key recommendations include a formal cost of energy target of 14p/kWh by 2020, a deployment target for marine renewables to help drive commercialisation, clarifications to industry about the level of revenue support it can expect to receive beyond 2017, and clarification regarding obstacles to the commercialisation and expansion of the sector, such as access to grid connections.

Welcoming the report, Angus Norman, CEO of Ocean Power Technologies said: ‘Britain has the opportunity to build a world class marine energy industry that would create thousands of jobs, generate export earnings and provide a practical alternative to other forms of renewable energy.

‘The UK enjoys considerable natural advantages such as excellent wave and tidal conditions and a dense urban population that is close to the coast. It also has a high quality electricity grid, port and engineering infrastructure. These are some of the factors why OPT considers the UK a core area of its strategic focus.’

EEF today calls on government to bid for the right to host the United Nation’s Climate Technology Centre.

EEF acknowledges that the UK is strong in areas such as marine, waste and wind energy technology, but says countries like South Korea are more focused on stimulating low-carbon innovation.

In a statement, EEF said that by hosting the Centre, the UK government would signal to the world that it stands by its vision of the UK being a leader in the low-carbon economy.

Brazil, Germany and the United States have already signalled their intention to bid for the Centre ahead of the deadline on 13 March.

This evening Chris Sexton, technical director of Crossrail, will set out the challenges facing Crossrail and its partners and the approach to dealing with them in 2012 and beyond.

2012 sees the start of tunnelling operations to the west of Paddington next month, contracts for remaining underground stations are to be awarded and certain rail systems contracts will be open to tender.

Sexton’s lecture, The George Ramshaw Curry Prestige Lecture: Crossrail- 2012 Challenges and Solutions, is free to attend and takes place at IMechE’s head office in London.

Finally, another event taking place at IMechE in London tomorrow will address the role of engineering in the prevention, prediction and detection of falls among the elderly.

According to IMechE, falls of elderly people cost the NHS in the region of £5M per day.

The event will attempt to increase understanding of the risks that can lead to falls and in doing so identify design issues that might

Attendees will be shown how to identify design issues which may influence incidence of falls, learn about state of the art falls detectors and alarms and identify issues needing further research.