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Bioenergy event at Harper Adams

Posted 3 October 2006

Harper Adams University College hosted the Bioenergy West Midlands Forum Meeting on September 21st. The seminar concentrated on bioenergy, with particular emphasis on the issues faced by those involved in bioenergy installations.

Representatives from Central Networks and Energy Services provided a key presentation that offered delegates with an insight to the factors involved with connecting a renewable energy generator to the national grid.

This included a description of why the price of connection can vary significantly. For example electricity is supplied to many rural areas via cables mounted on electricity pylons. To upgrade such connections may require thicker, heavier cables, thus the electricity pylons may need to be replaced by those that can withstand heavier weights.

A second key presentation delivered by a representative from the leading energy trading company Smartest Energy, provided an overview of Renewable Obligation Certificates, power purchase agreements and a broad description of the current energy market.

Andrea Humphries, Sustainable Technologies Manager at Harper Adams, commented on the event: “The seminar provided delegates with the opportunity to learn more about installation of bioenergy through formal presentations, group discussion and individual networking.”

Additional presentations were delivered by the Technology Innovation Centre, and National Non Food Crops Centre. During the meeting members were also encouraged to discuss the regions approach to bioenergy, particularly whether the West Midlands had a clear vision for bioenergy.

One delegate provide the following view: “Confusion is a big problem and this is born from the complex nature of bioenergy. There is a lack of understanding of the numbers, language, technicalities and unpredictability of the fuel market. Potential bioenergy producers need reliable information about the inputs and outputs for bioenergy production.”

Home to the world’s first biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generator, Harper Adams also boasts sustainable halls of residence, eco-friendly library along with a modern slurry storage and management system. The seminar closed with a short overview of the biomass CHP generator developed by Talbott’s Heating Ltd, after which delegates were invited to tour the facility.

Presentations from the event can be viewed on www.bioenergywm.co.uk or for further information and to register to receive information about future events email Dr Andrea Humphries on
ahumphries@harper-adams.ac.uk

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