Windfarm controversy and biogas promotion

News editor

This Thursday sees the start of stage two consultation on a proposed wind farm in Durham, a county that is said to derive 22 per cent of its energy from renewable sources.

E.ON wants to install 24 wind turbines at a site approximately 1.5km to the east of Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, extending from Morden in the east to Newton Aycliffe in the west and from Bradbury in the north to Preston-le-Skerne in the south. 

If the wind farm receives planning consent, E.ON says it will set up a community benefit fund worth up to £190,000 per year, which will be used to support local projects – selected locally – throughout the lifetime of the wind farm.

Once operational, the company estimates the Isles Wind Farm will generate up to 63.5MW.

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson isn’t convinced by the plans.

In a piece for The Isles Communities Turbine Action Campaign website he said: ‘When people look out of their window, they do not see the boundary between local authorities, they see pleasant countryside. That could change if all these developments go ahead

‘I do not want to see the landscape of County Durham to be reindustrialised again by dozens of massive and inefficient wind turbines cloned across the countryside; this time without the jobs.’

Still with energy and news that UK AD & Biogas 2012 takes place this Wednesday and Thursday at Birmingham NEC.

Organised by the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, the event is billed as a showcase for AD as the ‘missing link to achieving efficient waste and resource management, carbon reduction, energy security, renewable fuel and energy generation, and job creation.’

Day two of the conference programme is entitled The Business Case for On-Farm AD, with the afternoon sessions taking delegates through creating a sound business plan for their AD projects.

Speakers include Richard Nuttall, business partner, Clydesdale Bank who will explain what banks look for in a business plan and what finance is available.

Similarly, Michael Hughes, investment director, Downing, will cover the same themes from the venture capitalist’s perspective.

Later sessions will then look at planning, building and commissioning of an AD plant.

Last week The Engineer ran a story about Venture Capital Unit, a new entity created by British Private Equity & Venture Capital  Association and UK Trade and Investment.

Venture Capital Unit connects the venture sector with the UKTI’s global network of embassies and consulates and is designed to help companies expand globally and access new markets.

In a similar vein, Hertfordshire University hosts Innovation Matters on Wednesday, a free seminar that will take attendees through strategies for business success, including the expansion into international markets.

Organised by Enterprise Europe Network East of England in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Office and UK Trade and Investment, the seminar will inform attendees about the services available to help protect and exploit technology, including ways of partnering with companies and research organisations locally, nationally and abroad.

Finally, a series of events entitled Selling for Engineers – A Guide to Turning Technology into Revenue aims to instil a successful ‘sales mindset’ into those that attend the one-day training courses.

The first takes place in Cambridge on Tuesday and organisers Energi are confident that attendees will leave knowing how to turn their technology into revenue.

In a statement, Richard Blackburn, managing director of Energi and presenter of the course said: ‘In general, engineers and scientists are not very comfortable with the concept of selling. It often feels quite alien to them. This course is intended not only to inform, but actually to enthuse them about how critical sales and marketing is to any company and, at a professional level, what a rewarding career it can provide.’