Renew On Line (UK) 51

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 151 Sept-Oct 2004

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1.Wind power- problems  offshore, new co-op

2.Photovoltaic solar - mandatory soon?

3.Funding Wave & Tidal Energy- £50m more

4. Biomass Heat Gap- RCEP report

5. Hydrogen Arrives- on the farm

6. New Energy Policy ? Yes please!

7. UK Energy Research Centre- soon

8.UK Government policy news- Energy Bill Passes but targets cut

9. European news- Bonn was good, Denmark gets better

10. US News- Local wind problems, hydrogen plans

11 Other International news- 40GW of wind now in place.... 

12.   Nuclear news'EU needs nuclear'

7. UK Energy Research Centre

Following the production of a new proposal for the £12m UK Energy Research Centre, put together by Prof. Jim Skea, the Centre now looks set to start work. It has been operating on an interim basis from the Policy Studies Institute in London, where he is based. According to the Centres web site, ‘the first substantial research activities will begin in September/October 2004, at the start of the first academic year following its establishment. We will ramp up to a full programme of activities around April 2005.’ 

The new proposal is likely to have Imperial College, ECI Oxford, UMIST, Warwick and Edinburgh playing major roles, but others including the OU may also get bit parts.  Full details and funding allocations should emerge soon. The preliminary details on the web site indicate that Centre’s programme of research ‘will scope out and address gaps in existing energy research, conduct interdisciplinary research that addresses the energy system as a whole and develop new tools and techniques for energy research. The overall aim is to complement, and to facilitate drawing together, all of the relevant energy research currently being conducted. It will not duplicate other existing or planned activities.’

It also identifies a novel approach to international liason- a ‘research hotel’.  The web sites notes that ‘International scientists will participate in projects at the Centre’s ‘research hotel’. A Fellowship scheme will enable TSEC to draw top researchers to the UK- and to allow UK junior and senior researchers to spend time overseas. UK researchers will engage in wider international activity through the EU Framework Research Programmes, the International Energy Agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other bodies.’

It adds that ‘Knowledge transfer will be an intrinsic part of the Centre’s activities. It will engage with a range of external bodies to ensure that the Centre’s work is translated into usable outputs that will help others play their part in the UK’s energy strategy. It will consult stakeholders about the key questions that they feel need to be addressed. It will integrate and synthesise knowledge from diverse disciplines and studies to ensure that real-world problems are addressed, for policymakers, business and other stakeholders. It will work with technology development bodies at the regional and national levels to ensure that UK business benefits from its work.’

It says that, overall, the Centre's key function is to ‘act as a focal point for all energy research in the UK. It will operate through thematic networks to ensure that all the relevant knowledge is drawn together. It will set out the UK’s research capabilities in a global context and map them against the needs of a sustainable energy economy, drawing conclusions for future research needs’.

In addition, as well as knowledge transfer and the synthesis of research, UKERC  says it will ‘operate an education and outreach programme targeting wider audiences’ and it  ‘will also ensure, through workshops and other activities, that the Centre’s work is sensitive to wider social needs’.

Quite an agenda! We look forward to seeing the details of how all this will actually be done. For updates see  Also see Groups ( Renew 151) for the background story so far.

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