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National Energy Research Network

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NERN Newsletter


Welcome to the National Energy Research Network newsletter, which is published weekly and aims to provide relevant information to energy researchers. Extra content is always welcome - if you would like something added please contact the editor, Dr Mike Weston. You can view previous NERN newsletters in the archive.

Newsletter 292 - 08/08/14


UKERC Twitter feed

Interesting developments

Reports

Jobs and opportunities

Funding

Events and Conferences

NERN blog




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Interesting developments

Nuclear News

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 08 September 2014 12:34 BST - (38 Reads)

Nuclear remains linchpin of French energy transition – According to reports from EurActiv France Nuclear energy will gradually decrease but will remain at the centre of France’s energy transition for 2030 and 2050.

The French law on energy transition was recently presented by Ségolène Royal, the French environment minister and sets targets to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 32% by 2030, reduce CO2 emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2030, and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels by 30% by 2030. It also outlines targets for 2050, such as reducing energy consumption by half and cutting CO2 emissions fourfold compared to 2012, in line with EU-level targets.

On the domestic front, the French law confirms a previous commitment by President François Hollande to reduce the share of nuclear in the country's energy mix. Indeed, the proportion of nuclear in electricity consumption is set to decrease from 75% currently to 50% by 2025. The law fails to specify how the proportion of nuclear energy will be reduced. The shutting down of Fessenheim, France’s oldest nuclear plant, has been announced a number of times. But the decision is not part of the law, which merely caps nuclear production at the current level of 63.2GW. This means that the French government will have to close power plants if they want to open a European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) – like the one planned for Flamanville in 2016.

Adopted by the French Council of Ministers on 30 July 2014, the final draft of the energy transition law will be passed on to the French National Assembly and will be scrutinised by a parliamentary committee before it is examined in plenary session on 1 October.

Japan's nuclear restart may be delayed until 2015 – Reuters reports that the long-awaited restart of Japan's nuclear power plants is facing yet another setback and may be delayed until 2015, Japanese media said on Wednesday, piling pressure on struggling utilities to push for fresh price hikes.

Kyushu Electric Power's two-reactor Sendai plant, located about 1,000 km (600 miles) southwest of Tokyo, is likely to be the first nuclear plant to be allowed to restart under tough new safety regulations after the 2011 Fukushima crisis. The Sendai plant cleared the Nuclear Regulation Authority's (NRA) initial safety hurdle last month, but the utility was supposed to hand in additional, detailed paperwork on specific safety features at the site and how they planned to construct them.

Japan's public broadcaster NHK and other media said that Kyushu Electric said documentation issues meant final deliberations on the restart would be pushed back by the regulator, delaying the restart until after winter. A Kyushu Electric spokeswoman said that the company does not have a timeline for starting up the reactors and confirmed comments by an executive that submission of additional documents may be delayed until late September or even October.

Japan's electric utilities have racked up more than $34 billion in losses in the three years since the disaster. Kyushu Electric, which reported a 41 billion yen ($400 million) quarterly loss last Thursday following three annual losses, has received a government bailout this year. The utility has said that restarting the two Sendai reactors would cut its fossil fuel purchases by 200 billion yen over a year.

Experts In Charge Of Imaginary $200 Billion VC Climate Fund Say Kill Coal, Spend On Nuclear - The Vision Prize, an ongoing poll conducted twice a year, asked climate scientists this past quarter to imagine they were in charge of a $200 billion venture capital fund to combat climate change. For providing their answers, the Vision Prize awards charity gift cards to organizations of the scientists’ choice.

From the latest survey, 64% of the scientists argued shutting down coal-fired power plants, or sequestering their emissions, ranked as the top priority for capping global warming to a two-degree rise above preindustrial levels in the next 20 years. Building low-emissions products came in a distant second, and even fewer scientists argued shifting diets away from meat deserved the focus.

The survey also asked the scientists what they made of an open letter published by well-known climate experts last year. In the paper, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, James Hansen, and Tom Wigley argued that nuclear power would play a key role in weaning the country off of fossil fuels. More than 70% of the scientists surveyed by the Vision Prize agreed.

 

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Fossil Focus

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 08 September 2014 12:19 BST - (31 Reads)

Coal seam gas emissions lower than US: first Australian study - One of the most common questions Australians ask about coal seam gas is whether the gas wells leak – and if so, how much? In the first Australian study of its kind, new CSIRO research now gives an indication of how much those “fugitive emissions” might be, and how we can start to reduce them.

Commissioned by the federal Department of the Environment and now published on its website, the pilot study measured emissions around 43 coal seam gas production wells – six in New South Wales and 37 in Queensland – out of the more than 5000 wells currently operating around Australia. The results reveal that:

  • nearly all of the 43 wells tested showed some fugitive emissions;
  • the emissions rates were very low (in most cases less than 3 grams of methane per minute – equivalent to methane emissions from around 30 cows);
  • in many cases, those emissions could be reduced or even stopped entirely;
  • the average measured levels from the Australian wells were 20 times lower than reported in a study of fugitive emissions from US unconventional gas sites, published last year in the leading international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

In Australia, fugitive emissions from coal mining, oil and gas production account for about 8% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

CCS policy scoping document - The UK Government today reaffirmed its commitment to the establishment of a Carbon Capture and Storage  industry in the UK with the publication of a scoping document which summarises the policies and actions the Government has taken as part of its world leading programme.

The “Next Steps in CCS: Policy Scoping Document” also sets out the Government’s intention to continue engagement with the CCS industry and seeks views and evidence on a possible Phase 2 of CCS deployment, taking forward commitments published in the 2013 Electricity Market Reform Delivery Plan.

Poland on road to EU Court over shale gas defiance – According to reports by EurActiv the European Commission has begun legal proceedings against Poland for amending its national laws to allow shale drills at depths of up to 5,000 metres without first having assessed the potential environmental impacts.

In June, Brussels sent Poland formal notice that it was opening a case against it for infringing the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive. If Warsaw does not now satisfy the Commission’s concerns by the end of August, the case will begin a several-month journey that could end at the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Poland says that an amendment to its EIA law in June 2013 limits shale drills in ‘sensitive’ areas such as Natura 2000 sites to 1,000m.  But as shale gas reserves in Poland are located mostly at a depth 1,000-4,500m and the 'sensitive' areas cover only 23% of the Polish territory, the new thresholds de facto exclude most shale gas exploration projects in Poland from the scope of the EIA Directive.

Lobbying by Poland and the UK is thought to have stymied a directive regulating shale drills that the Commission’s environment directorate had planned to include in its 2030 climate and energy package of EU legislation, announced in January.

Germany moves closer to fracking ban - According to reports by EurActiv Germany has a moratorium on the use of fracking technology to extract unconventional fossil fuels but the method is not banned, something the country's Federal Environment Agency (UBA) hopes to change with swift regulation.

Maria Krautzberger, the President of the Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA), recently presented the organisation's new Fracking-II assessment in Berlin. The conclusions were clear-cut - "As long as crucial risks related to this technology cannot be predicted and likewise cannot be controlled, fracking should not be used in Germany to extract shale and coalbed gas"  The UBA study is part of a large environmental research project. The first portion was already presented in August 2012. Researchers studied the effects of fracking on the water supply and clearly outlined the risks for ground and drinking water.

In a recent joint paper, the German Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel and the Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks agreed on a fracking moratorium until 2022, covering unconventional shale and coalbed gas deposits up to 3,000 metres. The agreement contained exemptions for research and development projects. In light of these assessments, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) claimed fracking should not be allowed in Germany.

 

 

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International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure, 30 September-1 October 2014, Vienna, Austria

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Tue 08 September 2015 12:00 BST - (32 Reads)

”Can we imagine resilient infrastructure systems that can meet the needs of twice today’s population with half today’s resources while providing better liveability for all”

The grand challenge set for the 2014 International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure (ISNGI) has been designed to support the rapidly expanding international research community seeking to understand the interactions between infrastructure, the population it serves, the environment in which it functions, technology and the economy.

Following the model of the uniquely successful 2013 symposium held in Wollongong, Australia, organized by the SMART Infrastructure Facility, the organiers are pleased to announce that this year's event, hosted by UCL, Arizona State University School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong, with co-host partners Delft University of Technology, Oxford University and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis will be held at Laxenburg Palace near Vienna, Austria from 30 September to 1 October.

Key note speakers include:

  • Bruce Beck - Professor and Eminent Scholar on Environmental Systems and Analysis, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, The University of Georgia, USA
  • Richard de Neufville, Professor of Engineering Systems and of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Robert J Lempert, Director, Frederick S Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition, Pardee RAND Graduate School, USA
  • Jim Watson, Professor and Research Director, UK Energy Research Centre

For more information please go here.

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Call for Abstracts for the Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) Research Conference 2015

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 17 October 2014 11:53 BST - (35 Reads)

The Global Sustainability Institute is delighted to announce that the Call for Abstracts for the Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) Research Conference 2015 is now open.  The Conference theme is “The Interface between Sustainability Research and Policy”

Following the hugely successful inaugural research conference in 2013, this second conference will take place on January 26th & 27th 2015.  The 2015 Research Conference will bring together leaders from academia, business, government, NGOs and beyond, to discuss the interface between sustainability research and public policy.  The organisers would like to particularly encourage abstract submissions from projects completed by, or in partnership with, a non-academic organisation (i.e. business, governments or third sector).

Individuals and groups are invited to submit abstracts under one of the five sub themes below. 

  • Improving the evidence for action
  • Dealing with uncertainty
  • Sustainability policy in 2015
  • Exploring the policy / research interface
  • Achieving impact through communication and dialogue

Abstracts of oral presentation (approx. 10 min. presentation plus Q&A) and posters can be submitted until Friday 17th October.

For more information please go here.

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IBE Special Issue, Behaviour and Energy Use within the Indoor and Built Environment

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 05 September 2014 11:46 BST - (40 Reads)

The increasing potential for dramatic climatic changes and rising fuel prices, coupled with the need to protect the future of our energy supply, mean that there is an urgent need for reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions and overreliance on fossil fuels. Whilst it is often mentioned that worldwide 30-40% of all primary energy is used in buildings, the role of people in buildings’ energy use is often poorly understood and overlooked, despite the fact that ‘buildings don’t use energy: people do’.

This Special Issue of the Indoor and Built Environment Journal will appeal to researchers from the social, engineering and built environment sciences as well as to policy makers, product development and energy supply companies, the construction and design industry, and third sector organisations. The guest editors (Marcella Ucci & Michelle Shipworth) invite the submission of papers, especially those underpinned by multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, addressing the role of people in creating and reducing the demand for energy in the indoor and built environment, with the following indicative themes:

  • Understanding behaviour and social practices that result in energy use in buildings.
  • Intervention and behaviour change strategies to either reduce energy use or shift the timing of energy demand. This includes strategies utilizing ICT, feedback, smart meters and social media and could be focused on the household, workplace or community. This could also include evaluations of policies operating on this theme (discussion papers may be considered on this aspect).
  • Human dimensions of improving the energy efficiency of buildings and building technologies – including understanding “rebound” and “spillover” effects.
  • Historical and cultural dimensions of the expectations of service that are entailed in energy demand in buildings (e.g. thermal comfort expectations), as well as the systems of provision for those services.
  • Understanding behaviour and social practices associated with energy efficient retrofits/ renovations and investments in energy efficient buildings/technologies. Trade-offs and synergies between reduction of energy use and human health, comfort and wellbeing.
  • Modelling: for example modelling the effect of interventions and policies

For any of the themes above, the paper will have to suitably highlight/discuss its relevance to and implications for the design and management of the indoor and built environment, and/or for the occupants’ comfort, health and wellbeing. Abstracts will be selected to ensure a broad and varied selection of high quality papers.

Please send your abstracts to Marcella (m.ucci@ucl.ac.uk) by the closing date although earlier submission is strongly encouraged. Name your email: “IBE Special Issue Abstract Submission”. Abstracts should be around 500 words, if a longer draft is already available please send it alongside the abstract. The closing date for abstract submission is the 5th September 2014.

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Reports

This week's reports

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 08 September 2014 10:08 BST - (46 Reads)
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Jobs and opportunities

Research Assistant/Associate in Energy and Material Demand Reduction x 3 (Fixed Term), University of Cambridge

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Sun 14 September 2014 11:37 BST - (39 Reads)

Three positions exist for either Research Assistants/Associates to explore the design and delivery of physical changes and/or new business strategies to reduce energy and material demand in specific industrial sectors. These posts could suit applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds including engineering, science, business or social sciences, and might for example include:

  • a future UK vehicle fleet with half the material inputs
  • life-time guarantees for white goods
  • low material infrastructures to support UK wellbeing
  • manufacturing with no scrap
  • design of open architecture products and equipment
  • integration of materials processing with downstream businesses

The posts are for one year in the first instance, leading to two key outputs: an academic journal paper to scope the area; a prospectus for a wider project to develop and deliver new insights in practice. Pending these outputs, some or all of the positions may be extended to bring about this wider project.

The positions are to work with Professor Julian Allwood within the £11m UK INDEMAND Centre, funded by the RCUK Energy Programme and a large consortium, in collaboration with Bath, Leeds and Nottingham Trent Universities. Applicants must demonstrate that their proposed activity will enrich the programme of the Centre as a whole.

Candidates must have a PhD (or be close to obtaining one) relevant to their specified area, and ideally some experience of work with industry and government. Candidates must be able to define and manage their own work load, collaborate effectively with members of the industrial consortium, work in a team, support PhD students, stick to deadlines, and communicate to a range of audiences.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 14th September 2014.

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Professor of Energy Policy, SPRU, University of Sussex

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 03 November 2014 11:32 GMT - (37 Reads)

The Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex are seeking to appoint a Professor of Energy Policy. The successful candidate will become the Director of the Sussex Energy Group (SEG) in SPRU and contribute to the research of the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED).

Founded in 1966, SPRU is internationally recognised as a leading centre of research on science, technology and innovation policy. Today, with over 50 faculty members, SPRU is proudly at the forefront of new ideas, problem-orientated research, inspiring teaching, and creative, high impact engagement with decision-makers across government, business and civil society.

The successful candidate will lead SEG, contribute to the work of CIED, participate in the SPRU leadership team and be co-responsible for the development of a new research program on Transformative Change in Energy Systems. This new research program is an important part of the new SPRU research strategy, led by Professor Johan Schot (SPRU Director). They will collaborate with Dr Steve Sorrell, Dr Florian Kern and other researchers both within and outside SPRU and take lead responsibility for managing the SEG team and representing SEG in policy and stakeholder meetings both nationally and internationally. They will also contribute to the supervision of doctoral students and energy-related MSc teaching.

The successful candidate will have:

  • An outstanding, inter-disciplinary publication record in energy and climate policy, preferably with an emphasis on innovation and transitions
  • A track record of high quality research of international reputation
  • A proven interest in energy demand
  • International visibility and reputation for high quality research as expressed in invitations for keynotes, publication and citations

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 3rd November 2014.

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Assistant Professor in Sustainable Energy Technologies, University of Warwick - School of Engineering

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 21 August 2014 11:20 BST - (35 Reads)

The University Of Warwick School Of Engineering is seeking applications for an Assistant Professor in Sustainable Energy Technologies who will conduct research of international excellence within the areas of: Bioenergy and Biotechnology, Electrochemical Engineering or Materials for Energy, with a particular emphasis on Sustainable Energy Technologies. They will teach on a range of taught programmes offered by the School at undergraduate and masters levels and will participate in the design and delivery of a new MSc programme in Sustainable Energy Technologies, including the development and delivery of a new module in Bioenergy and Biotechnology and the supervision of project students.

The role will require securing, in collaboration with colleagues as appropriate, external funding through research grants/contracts and to support a developing research agenda, especially through industrial collaborations. The post holder will manage research projects within the School of Engineering, including the supervision of post-doctoral research assistants, research students, technical and other support staff engaged in research and will publish research outcomes in appropriate refereed journals of international standing, and publish and disseminate the results of research and scholarship in international conferences.

Successful candidates will have a PhD in a relevant area (Mechanical, Chemical or Materials Engineering, or related) alongside a strong track record in producing high-quality academic publications in international, high impact factor, peer reviewed journals in areas related to Sustainability and Energy.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 21st August 2014.

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The Doctoral Training in Carbon Capture and Storage, and Cleaner Fossil Energy is recruiting for a fully funded Engineering Doctorate (EngD) postgraduate studentship starting in October. Students should be of high academic calibre and merit.

Sustainability (environmental, economic, social) of supply chains is a key challenge for biomass co-firing. This project will use interview-based social science methods to investigate how different actors (producers, users, intermediaries, civil society, government) assess these challenges and options for transforming them. It aims to:

a) Identify sustainability challenges of wood-based supply chains for UK power stations

b) Develop an assessment framework by comparing established woody bioenergy supply chains in selected countries with the UK

The academic supervisors will be Dr. Sujatha Raman, Dr. Alison Mohr and Prof. Colin Snape and the researcher will spend time working closely with industrial sponsors Alstom.

For more information on the centre please go here. To apply email your CV and covering letter today to: EFET@nottingham.ac.uk

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Research Associate, Social Responses to CO2 Storage, University of Manchester

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 01 September 2014 10:50 BST - (35 Reads)

The Tyndall Centre at the University of Manchester is seeking a Research Associate to explore social Responses to CO2 Storage. The successful candidate will contribute to research undertaken as part of a multidisciplinary consortium of academic partners within the EPSRC funded DiSSECs project. They will conduct an assessment to explore how lay publics engage with the use of geological reservoirs for CO2 storage and how controversies surrounding particular projects evolve, drawing on analogues such as the use of hydraulic fracture treatments (fracking) in the production of shale gas.

The research will involve both desk-based and empirical research to analyse discourses and identify potential triggers or characteristics that may lead to conflict or controversy.  It may include in-depth interviews with local and regional stakeholders, media searches and focus group research with members of the public. This work will also feed into other Tyndall research exploring the social dimensions of a wider range of new energy technologies.

The successful candidate will have a strong interest in conducting interdisciplinary research, with expertise in exploring social responses to technology and must to exhibit excellent communication skills and be willing to embrace the Tyndall Manchester team ethos.

The post will be available from 1 January 2015 for a period of twelve months and interviews will be held this coming autumn.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 1st September 2014.

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Reader in Energy Law, College of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Aberdeen

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 08:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 01 September 2014 11:25 BST - (38 Reads)

An exciting opportunity is available for the position of Reader in Law within the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen. The successful candidate will have expertise in energy law at an international level with a strong track record in publication and winning research awards. The successful candidate will contribute to teaching with a focus on LLM and PhD instruction and supervision. There is an expectation that existing courses and programmes will be supported, but there is also potential for development of new teaching ideas and initiates. It is expected that the Reader will be a member of the Centre for Energy Law and provide leadership, particularly with reference to internationalisation and commercialisation. The successful candidate will play a full part in teaching and administration of the School of Law, as well as making a strong contribution to the research portfolio for the next Research Assessment Exercise.

Applicants with an interdisciplinary background and/or with experience of practice will be particularly welcomed. Key criteria are

  • Degree in Law / Higher degree in Law or associated discipline
  • Advanced knowledge of energy law and policy in the United Kingdom and internationally.
  • Strong research and publication record in energy law
  • International profile with regard to research

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 1st September 2014

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Visit the jobs webpage for more opportunities and as ever if you know of any jobs, please let me know.

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Funding

An integrated future for cities

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Wed 14 January 2015 13:44 GMT - (37 Reads)

The Technology Strategy Board is investing up to £6m in an SBRI competition to develop innovative solutions that can help cities plan more successfully for the future. This SBRI competition aims to encourage new ways of achieving better integration of infrastructure and services across a city, by improving understanding of how elements of these systems interact with each other.

Up to £6m is available to encourage companies to develop prototypes and to demonstrate how they would link up different city models. Solutions should enable users to interact with multiple models to tackle different city problems. Contracts will be awarded to single suppliers, who may sub-contract to other partners.

This competition is open to all organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution. Successful organisations will attract a 100%-funded development contract of up to £2m (inclusive of VAT), and projects will last up to three years.

They will invest up to £6m in phase 2 prototyping and deployment projects that meet the challenge outlined in the scope. They expect the value of contracts to be between £1.5m and £2m each (inclusive of VAT). Projects should last up to three years.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 14th January 2015.

 

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Eni Award 2015 - Renewable Energy Prize

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 21 November 2014 13:53 GMT - (33 Reads)

The Eni Award was created to develop better use of renewable energy, promote environmental research and encourage new generations of researchers. The Award, which is annual, highlights the critical importance increasingly given by Eni in recent years to scientific research and issues of sustainability.

The Renewable Energy Prize is one of the five sections of the eni award, composed by the New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons, the Protection of the Environment, the Debut in Research Prizes, together with the Recognition at Innovation eni. The purpose of this Prize is to promote technological innovation on renewable sources of energy.

The Prize is awarded to the researcher or group of scientists that achieved internationally significant results in research and innovation, in the field of renewable energy sources.

For more information please go here. The deadline for applications is the 21st November 2014.

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Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada pipeline abandonment RfP

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 29 August 2014 14:01 BST - (32 Reads)

Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada’s mission is to facilitate innovation, collaborative research and technology development, demonstration and deployment for a responsible Canadian hydrocarbon energy industry. Their vision is to help Canada become a global hydrocarbon energy technology leader.

They have published a number of requests for proposals formulated by the PTAC facilitated Pipeline Abandonment Research Steering Committee (PARSC), with the purpose of commissioning a number of research projects and studies to address technical knowledge gaps related to pipeline abandonment.  A scoping study is available here which provides more background info.

These requests cover the following areas –

  • Cleaning Methods for Abandoned Pipelines
  • Standard Pipeline Products List and Detection of Residual Contamination in Abandoned Pipelines
  • Decomposition of Pipe Coating Materials in Abandoned Pipelines

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 29th August 2014.

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Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies fund

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Tue 23 September 2014 14:06 BST - (38 Reads)

The AECF Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) window is a special fund of the AECF that is open to business ideas based on low cost clean energy and solutions (technologies, products, services) that can help rural people adapt to climate change.

REACT provides patient risk capital (grants, interest free loans) to businesses with potentially transformative climate change solutions and which seek to make a profit, go to scale and to have a deep social impact. To date, REACT is investing in 32 companies across East Africa and 12 in Mozambique, with an overall portfolio size of approximately US$34 million.

The overall driving forces for REACT are that the business idea must show an environmental benefit and that it must demonstrate a positive impact on the rural poor through either increased incomes, employment and productivity or reduced costs.

REACT supports private sector investment in the following areas:

  • Solutions (products, services and technologies) that can help pastoralists and smallholder farmers adapt to climate change by reducing their vulnerability to climatic shocks such as droughts or floods, or by increasing their resilience and ability to cope with such shocks. Examples are drought resistant seeds, post-harvest storage, water management technologies (eg harvesting, conservation and irrigation), micro-insurance or early weather warning systems.
  • Increased access to low cost clean energy for rural businesses and households.  This includes cost effective renewable electricity, commercially viable renewable fuels and other clean energy alternatives.
  • Financial services that increase access to finance for low cost clean energy and climate adaptation technologies or catalyse financial solutions, such as supply chain and end user financing for consumer renewable energy products.

For more information please go here. The closing date for applications is the 23rd September 2014.

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Feasibility study in support of the development of a level playing field for nuclear safety assessment

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Wed 03 September 2014 14:11 BST - (37 Reads)

The European Commission has issued a tender for services to provide a feasibility study in support of the development of a level playing field for nuclear safety assessment by regulators and technical safety organisations in the European Union

The objective of this contract is to use an existing training programme for safety authorities and TSOs in the field of safety assessment of nuclear installations, to perform the feasibility study to analyse the proposed training programme as implemented in the concrete field test case, identify deficiencies and provide solutions to improve. The feasibility study would then conclude on the real potential to establish an EU-wide level playing field for nuclear safety assessment by regulators and TSOs, and propose ways ahead, via training and/or other means.

The outcome of this study shall fit in the implementation of the revised Nuclear Safety Directive.

For more information please go here. The closing date for applications is the 3rd September 2014.

 

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Estimation of indirect land-use change emissions from bioenergy

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 04 September 2014 14:17 BST - (37 Reads)

The Directorate-General for Energy has issued a tender with the objective of providing the Commission with an evaluation tool for assessing biofuel feedstocks with respect to their ILUC impact with a 2020 perspective. It will provide insights into whether the current state-of-the-art ILUC modelling which is based on food and feed markets can give some indications as regards the ILUC impact of feedstocks which are either not covered by the modelling or only have indirect links to food and feed markets.

For more information please go here. The closing date for applications is the 4th September 2014

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Visit the funding webpage for more opportunities and if you hear of any funding opportunities, please let me know.

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Events and Conferences

5th Nordic Biogas Conference

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 29 August 2014 17:00 BST - (640 Reads)

27 - 29 August 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland

Website

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NERC/KTN -Unconventional Hydrocarbons event

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Wed 24 September 2014 10:20 BST - (37 Reads)

24 September 2014, Manchester

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Greening the Cloud: Energy Efficiency and ICT

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 25 September 2014 10:23 BST - (34 Reads)

25 September 2014, 6pm - 9pm, London

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Sustainable Transport 2014: Ultra low carbon travel

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Wed 22 October 2014 10:22 BST - (36 Reads)

22 October 2014, London, UK

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Building Britain's Low Carbon Future

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 23 October 2014 10:23 BST - (34 Reads)

23 October 2014, Arlington Conference Centre, Camden

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37th Euroheat & Power Congress

Published At: Mon 11 August 2014 13:21 BST - Expires At: Mon 27 April 2015 09:00 BST - (25 Reads)

27-28 April 2015, Tallinn, Estonia

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2nd International Conference on Renewable Energy Gas Technology, REGATEC 2015

Published At: Fri 08 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 08 May 2015 10:21 BST - (30 Reads)

7-8 May 2015, Barcelona, Spain

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Visit the events webpage for more opportunities and if you would like to advertise an event please let me know.

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NERN Blog

I’ll start this week’s blog by pointing out that there unfortunately won’t be a newsletter next week as I’m taking a week off to enjoy the hoppy delights of the Great British Beer Festival.  You’ll possibly be reassured (particularly those residing in London) to hear that this doesn’t entail some sort of weeklong bacchanalian orgy of excess as I actually only spend one or two days at the actual event. The majority of the week will probably be filled with the usual programme of DIY projects that have piled up throughout the months since Christmas.

Having comfortably settled into my desk job I seldom get the chance to get hands on with anything remotely technical these days so I do look forward to these rare opportunities to get the tools out and start tinkering. Based on the Kingfisher European Home Report 2014 it would appear that I’m not alone with 86% indicating that they enjoy DIY and 42% finding it rewarding. Sadly my primary task this time will be offering financial rather than spiritual rewards as it’s replacing our existing halogen lights with LEDs.

Every time I’ve moved into a new flat over the last few years I’ve dusted off the energy monitor and my faithful multimeter and undertaken an impromptu energy audit. In every case the greatest waste of energy (other than the flats with no space for drying clothes) has been the living room lights. I’d always take the first opportunity to whip out the existing lights and get the most energy efficient replacements I could find. On moving into my current flat I found that the light fittings were designed in such a way so that the easily available slightly chunkier alternatives couldn’t quite fit in the space provided. Thus I’ve spent the last year coldly staring at our light fittings and vowing to find a way to sort it out.

I’m pleased to say that I finally found an energy efficient bulb with a suitable space profile and have a number planned for delivery next week. I’m looking forward to spending the thirty minutes or so shinning up and the ladder with music rock blaring in the background (possibly ‘paint it black’) and watching our energy demand progressively drop. It’ll be a small victory but that’s how wars tend to be won.

I hope you all have a great week,

Mike

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