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Durham Energy Institute to advise government on green technology

Energy experts from Durham University are aiming to help the government cut through red tape and roll out greener and more sustainable energy networks - Smart Grids.

This week, the university's Durham Energy Institute (DEI) is bringing together leading industrialists and academics to meet with the Department of Energy & Climate Change to tackle barriers to taking UK energy policy forward. The meeting on Wednesday November 3rd will also be attended by Ofgem and many leading UK power companies.

The aim is to find an affordable and mutually beneficial way of introducing the new technology which will help the UK maximise its energy efficiency and also achieve EU targets of generating 20% per cent of all energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.

Professor Taylor said:

"Smart Grids are power networks designed to cope with energy from lots of different sources such as windfarms, wavepower and solar panels, all of which are becoming more and more common. Our intention is to find a way of introducing Smart Grid technology to the UK power network.'

"The current electricity network dates back to the 60s and 70s and wasn't designed to cope with power from all these different sources as efficiently.

"The Smart Grid could help the UK reach its emissions reduction targets in a cost-effective way by both utilising and harvesting alternative sources of energy and by returning self-generated or unused energy back to the grid, while securing long term access to affordable and sustainable energy."

According to DEI research, Smart Grid technology could be integrated with the current power infrastructure, avoiding building new pylons and laying new cables which is undesirable because of environmental constraints on planning and also on cost grounds.

Professor Taylor added: "The issue is complicated by the UK electricity network having long since been privatized and different parts of the industry being in separate hands. We want to move Smart Grids forward and getting all the stakeholders together like this is the best way"


Contact: Paul Ging
Durham University

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