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‘ENERGETIC’ FUTURE FOR WEST MIDLANDS

Posted 21 August 2003

HYDROPOWER, BIOGAS, WIND power and all other forms of renewable energy will be on the agenda of a ground-breaking conference at Harper Adams University College next month.

The Renewable Energy Opportunities Conference will be held at Harper Adams’ Shropshire campus on Tuesday, September 23, 2003. It will give landowners from across the West Midlands and the Marches an opportunity to find out about the latest technology and, advise them on opportunities to diversify into, or adapt for their own use, renewable energy sources.

Conference Organiser Dr Richard Byrne, a senior lecturer at Harper Adams University College, said many visitors would be surprised at how small some renewable energy installations could be.

“Sources of renewable energy are wide-ranging and can use natural resources such as wind, water, biomass, biogas and others. Look on your doorstep and you will probably find a number of renewable energy sources – sun, straw, slurry, wind and woodchips.

“A small micro-hydropower installation could be run from a fast flowing stream and provide enough electricity for a workshop to run. Renewable energy technologies promise to deliver great things.”

The conference will look at the key areas of biogas, wind, hydropower and energy crops, advising delegates on the issues of regulation and compliance. It will also provide an opportunity to put direct questions to experts from each sector.

Amongst the organisations present will be the Department of Trade and Industry, discussing governmental renewable energy policy and the Marches Energy Agency, discussing how small producers of renewable energy can sell into the national grid.

The UK Government has declared a commitment to achieving ten per cent of the country’s electricity requirements through renewable sources by 2010. Since April last year, all electricity suppliers in England, Scotland and Wales have been obliged to purchase a percentage of their total supply from renewable energy sources.

But an additional 5,000 Megawatt of renewable energy plants still needs to be built if the Government is to achieve its targets.

Dedicated presentations will be given by the British Wind Energy Association, Greenfinch - a biogas research and development company based in Shropshire, British Hydro-power Association, DEFRA, the Marches Wood Energy Network and the Community Renewables Scheme – a fund for community renewable energy projects run by the Countryside Agency.

There will also be an exhibition of trade stands from advisory agencies, equipment suppliers and manufacturers and other organisations within the renewable energy industry.

Renewable Energy Opportunities is just one of the many initiatives that Harper Adams University College will support through the Centre for Rural Innovation - a flagship project, which will bring together several different areas of Harper Adams’ services, providing a single contact point for businesses wishing to make use of that knowledge and expertise.

Renewable Energy Opportunities costs just £50 + VAT. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Further information and booking forms can be obtained from Conference Administrator Steve Baker on +44 (0) 1952 815 460 or by E-mail: reoc@harper-adams.ac.uk

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Notes to Editors: Members of the press are also welcome to attend. To register your interest or to obtain further information on the Renewable Energy Opportunities Conference, please contact Conference Organiser Dr Richard Byrne on +44 (0) 1952 815 415 or E-mail rbyrne@harper-adams.ac.uk

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