Years Active: 2004-2009
The environment provides the resources on which energy production is based. There are both positive and negative environmental consequences associated with the extraction, generation and use of energy. To maintain or enhance the health of the environment, we must integrate environmental knowledge with knowledge of the economy, engineering and society.
The Environmental Sustainability (ES) Theme in UKERC Phase I therefore cut across UKERC's vertical themes (Demand Reduction, Future Sources of Energy, and Energy Infrastructure and Supply). It interacted strongly with the cross-cutting Energy Systems and Modelling theme. The over-arching goal of the ES theme was to develop and demonstrate an approach that could be used to appraise consistently the relationships between the environment and all fuel cycles.
This theme was led by Dr David Howard of the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology, at the Lancaster Environment Centre with the support of the British Geological Survey and Edinburgh and Southampton Universities.
The research topics covered were bioenergy, carbon capture and storage, transport and offshore renewables.
This theme aimed to:
- Advise how to efficiently quantify and monitor changes in environmental resource and condition
- Exploit our understanding and modelling of environmental processes and interactions
- Highlight beneficial change
- Propose and test ways to mitigate detrimental effects.
Past and current studies into the environmental aspects of energy generation have in general focused on single elements of the energy system (e.g. nuclear power, biomass).
Particular emphasis was given to (a) the energy "capacity" of the environment (and how this might be enhanced or used to best effect) and (b) the spatial and temporal features of the impacts of energy generation and demand patterns.
All the working papers and research reports produced by this theme can be found in the UKERC Publications Library.
Related Publication (1)
In order to realise the substantial potential of bioenergy to help bring about the transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy, a roadmap is required to inform and guide research. This roadmap will enable the science community, and those who shape the direction of science, to identify gaps, prioritise funding and unlock the unique potential of the bio-based economy