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This page is now technically out of date, but we leave it for information.  Over next few days we will add links to conference papers recieved. Admin. 16th Dec 2008

Is There A Climate And Energy Emergency? – If So, What Are The Likely Solutions?

4th CLAVERTON ENERGY GROUP CONFERENCE – 24th to 26th October 2008

Wessex Water has kindly let us have their magnificent low-energy headquarters building again for the next Claverton Conference ( however there is no implied endorsement of the group or its statements). These events bring together numerous experts who can give numerical details of the potential scope, cost and other attributes of energy issues and technologies and more importantly how each can fit into an overall picture, for the UK, Europe and the World. Talks will generally be short and punchy giving bare essentials except for certain speakers who have extended expert material to deliver. By running parallel streams, delegates can pick out which talks they need to go to, and avoid material they already know. Some talks will be repeated as necessary. The Claverton Group has organised 3 previous similar conferences, and carries on continuous on-line dialogues, between 250 experts – this is in the manner of Interlock Research. Further info about the group see Claverton Group Note: Unless you are reading this off the Web page, it may well be out of date as it will constantly up date until the start of the meeting.

Note – all talks are generally from bone fide experts sharing their opinions and views – they are not the view of the group.

Speaker List:

Conference typically starts Friday evening about 6.00 with a social / networking emphasis for a couple of short lighthearted sessions; have a meal, then continue Saturday and Sunday breaking up about 4.00. (exact programme will be published nearer the day)

  1. Nick Mitchell – Senior Manager, Wessex Water: food waste to energy – the water company view.
  2. Wayne Boakes – Generation Manager – Wessex Water – diesel generators for grid support.
  3. Oliver Tickell, Author, journalist and climate change specialista paper on Kyoto2 as an exit strategy for fossil fuels
  4. Dr. Gregor Czisch – Kassel University: Has written various papers on linking grids trans nationally to smooth output of renewables
  5. Paul Frederik-Bach – Ex Director of Denmark’s Western Power Grid (which has a high percentage of wind power, and plans to go higher) – Paul has given three previous talks.  (Attendance to be confirmed)
  6. Bill Bordass – Leading UK Sustainable Building consultant – sustainable buildings.
  7. Dr Graham Sinden, Oxford Environmental Change Institute: The implications of the Eu’s 20/20/20 directive on renewable electricity generation requirements in the UK, and the potential role of offshore wind power in this context. (Graham Sinden has published a number of papers looking at the effects of integrating variable/intermittent generation into the generation mix)
  8. Dr. Fred Starr – ex EU Energy Centre: (Petten) “IGCC plus CCS: An Objective Analysis” r Claverton 2008 FStarr Presentation 10th April 2008.ppt
  9. Brian Hurley – ex Chief Scientist Airtricity: World wind power resources- – ( who are planning a 10 GW wind farm combined with an inter-connector in the North Sea.)
  10. Chris Hodrien – Squaring the Circle on Coal – Carbon Capture (CCS)
  11. Jeremy Harrison – Innovation Consultant E.ON Engineering: Micro CHP and all Micro generation technologies to provide context/comparison.
  12. Jerome Guillet – Investment Banker / Financier of off shore wind – Paper on same topic
  13. Professor Lewis Lesley – John Moore’s University: “sustainable light rail” ……(Apparently there is enough potential biogas to run an entire public transport system in the UK – Ed)
  14. Graeme Bathurst – Technical Manager, TNEI Services Ltd: Long distance HVDC cables – costs and impacts (can no longer attend unfortunately, but we are hopeful of a replacement from ABB or Siemens)
  15. John Baldwin – Ex Senior Manager British Gas. “The use of clean compressed biogas in vehicles which could cover 12 – 15% of UK vehicle fuel use potentially.
  16. Martin Alder – MD: Wind turbine developer and operator- Renewable Energy support mechanisms
  17. Leighton King Director / CEO Community Power Networks Ltd. “Kyoto UK – the case for a permanent climate change cluster in hte UK ” – to focus on getting off grid climate change solutions on the street.
  18. Chris Cook – Financial Expert: “Beyond ‘Peak Credit’ – asset-based Energy Financing”.
  19. Bernard Quigg – Senior Electrical Engineer: Title (to be confirmed)- Developments in collecting renewable generation’
  20. Dr. Phil Harris – Biologist Bio energy – quantities and relevance for UK?
    (Intro for discussion – “do we have the numbers?”
  21. Dr Bob Everett – Open University: “Transport without petroleum – a peculiar pictorial history’. This is a fairly lighthearted trawl through the picture archives
  22. John Baldwin – Ex Senior Manager British Gas. The UK’s most efficient gas fired power generation plant (80% of gas energy converted to electricity – expander CHP)
  23. Professor David Elliot – Open University: Review of Upcoming Renewables – Wave and tidal energy
  24. Neil Crumpton / William Orchard: City-wide heat grids or integration of CHP and very large renewables. (Neil is working with William on this. They have looked at hollow kerbs made from recycled plastic – designed to any X-section they could carry two eight inch heat pipes, fibre optic broad band and heavy duty electricity cables – could reduce costs and increase convenience and public interest in deploying large scale CHP replacing cast-iron gas grid )
  25. David Olivier – Energy Advisory Associates –  vast experience and knowledge; Energy efficiency and conservation in existing buildings – a look at what is being achieved in other European
  26. David Olivier – Energy Advisory Associates –  vast experience and knowledge; Energy efficiency and conservation in New buildings – a look at what is being achieved in other European countries.
  27. David Olivier – Energy Advisory Associates –  vast experience and knowledge; Transport  – a look at what is being achieved in other European countries.
  28. Tim Helweg-Larsen – Director – Public Interest Research Centre: “Climate Code Red” The very latest reading of the climate emergency we have entered.
  29. David Olivier – Energy Advisory Associates: Energy efficiency in existing buildings.
  30. Martin Alder – MD: Wind turbine developer and operator – on-site wind generation.
  31. Dr Bob Everett – Open University: ‘Peak Oil, Gas, Coal, Phosphorus, Money, etc’ – (the situation doesn’t get any better)
  32. Dave McGrath – Managing Director ReGenTech Ltd: Fuel Cell Power Solutions “the Role of Hydrogen in a declining fossil supply era”
  33. Dave Andrews: How the National Grid is already controlled to deal with sudden loss of large amounts of power generation, intermittency and variability, how diesels are already in widespread use for this purpose
  34. Anthony Battersby – Mendip Hydro power Group: Scope for micro hydro in the UK – can no longer attend.
  35. Dr Dave Toke – Birmingham University: ‘Why peak oil is not a good argument for renewables’ (Dave cannot give this talk now, so we are looking for volunteers / rapporteurs?)
  36. Richard Lawson -Desert Rose – ” The use of solar desalination plants to grow forests in deserts”
  37. Chris Hodrien – A paper on the benefits of Carbon Capture and Storage
  38. Polly Higgins – Concentrating Solar Power/DESERTEC: Talk (update on the Med Solar Plan under the Union for the Mediterranean and all other progress etc). Note : Sunday Only:

Synopses: (This is the current list – if yours is not here then please assume we haven’t received it and resend)

Brian Hurley – ex Chief Scientist Airtricity (Planning a 10 GW wind farm plus HVDC in the North Sea)  “Global Wind Resource”

The source of the wind is the sun.  The winds come from the suns energy falling on the earth’s surface, giving rise to heating of the atmosphere.  This leads to convection currents in the atmosphere, ie the movement of air due to changes in its density and pressure. We can gain an understanding of how global circulation works by developing simplified models of the processes that produce the global system. The physical drivers of the wind at a global scale and at the level of a wind farm are examined.

Sources giving estimates of the total quantity of energy in the atmosphere are reviewed. The portion of this available for electricity generation are investigated using different assumption, and comparisons are made with current electricity demand for the globe, and for major regions.  One estimate of the world’s wind resources is that there is 50,000 TWh/year available on land.  The world’s electricity consumption was about 18,000 TWh/year for 2005.

Common Affordable and Renewable Electricity Supply for Europe and its Neighbourhood
– Optimal solution: 100% Renewable HVDC-Supergrid  to save our climate – Dr. Gregor Czisch

In view of the resource and climate problems, it seems obvious that we must transform our energy system into one using only renewable energies. But questions arise how such a system should be structured, which techniques should be used and, of course, how costly it might be. These questions were the focus of a study which investigated the cost optimum of a future renewable electricity supply for Europe and its closer Asian and African neighbourhood. The resulting scenarios are based on a broad data basis of the electricity consumption and for renewable energies. An optimization determined the best system configuration and temporal dispatch of all components. The outcome of the scenarios can be considered as being a scientific breakthrough since it proves that a totally renewable electricity supply is possible even with current technology and at the same time is affordable for our national economies.


In the conservative base case scenario, wind power would dominate the production spread over the better wind areas within the whole supply area, connected with the demand centres via HVDC transmission. The transmission system, furthermore, powerfully integrates the existing storage hydropower to provide for backup coequally assisted by biomass power and supported by solar thermal electricity.


The main results of the different scenarios can be summarized as follows:



  • A totally renewable electricity supply for Europe and its neighbourhood is possible and affordable.
  • Electricity transmission between many different countries will be a very valuable and substantial component of a future supply.
  • Smoothing effects by the use of sources at locations in different climate zones improve the security of the supply and reduce the costs.
  • A spacious co-operation of many different countries opens up for the possibility to combine the goals of development policy and climate politics in a multilateral win-win strategy.

It can be expected that the results are adaptable to other world regions than Europe and its neighbourhood. Also in other regions there exist for example huge hydro-power potentials, very interesting wind energy potentials and deserts, which could be used to produce solar thermal power. So there is a huge variety of options in some regions which might even provide better conditions for a totally renewable electricity supply than can be found in and around Europe

Electricity production is most problematic subsector for the climate since it is responsible for the by far biggest share of the total carbon emissions and is growing relatively fast. Worldwide about 10.5 GtCO2 or almost 45% of the total CO2 emissions from fossil fuels stem from big power plants with an annual exhausts of more than 0.1 Mt CO2. Therefore the scenarios show a viable path for a substantial mitigation of the climate change by economically replacing the current fossil based electricity system by one using renewable energies only.

Professor Lewis Lesley – John Moore’s University: SUSTAINABLE LIGHT RAIL

In an increasingly urbanized world most personal journeys are made in towns and cities and are relatively short, in UK 75% under 8km long. In the developed world, the motorcar dominates these trips. Car drivers will however transfer some trips to rail. Electrically powered light rail (or tramways) is an economic means for satisfying many short urban trips. Light rail can be constructed with a minimum of urban disruption and when coupled with renewable generation is energy sustainable. It also has a negative carbon footprint, when diverted car trips are included.

Richard Lawson – Desert Rose – ” The use of solar desalination plants to grow forests in deserts”

Desert Rose is a conceptual approach to using two resources – sunlight and seawater – that coastal tropical areas have in abundance  to supply two resources that are in short supply and dwindling – fresh water and forest cover using solar desalination plant. It suggests that once past a critical point, the growth in forest and water tend to become a self-propagating system. Energy costings relating to developing  this concept are addressed. The Green Belt movement claims that 15 sp. kilometers of forest are sufficient to produce its own rain cloud. The costs and benefits of reafforestation suggest a favourable outcome.

IGCC plus CCS: An Objective Analysis ……F.Starr

The paper briefly describes the technology of  conventional IGCCs for electricity generation and shows how such “precombustion plants” need to be modified to capture CO2. The main difference is that the raw gas from the gasifier has to be treated to produce a fuel gas containing more than 90% hydrogen. This adds to the complexity of the plant. But the main reason why the large scale construction of such plants is unlikely in the near future is the absence of a large domestic and industrial market for hydrogen. The paper therefore advocates the production of substitute natural gas, with CO2 capture, as being a more realistic option which can use the existing infrastructure

Squaring the Circle on Coal – Carbon Capture (CCS)   Chris Hodrien

Huge global reserves of coal remain, well-distributed among relatively stable supplier nations, and its production is increasing. With the recent rapid increases in oil and gas prices, especially in the UK, it is again becoming the minimum cost option for power generation and heavy industry. Large thermal (steam turbine) powerplant is also the global utilities’ preferred generating option because of its predictability/reliability, operational characteristics, retrofit to existing powerplant sites and “fit’ to the existing grid structure. The IEA and others expect its market share to slightly increase to at least 2050. This “Business As Usual” strategy spells disaster for the planet unless carbon capture is used. Fortunately, CO2 capture and storage are both far nearer being proven than power utilities and governments would have us believe: there are three major capture options in advanced development, all of which are technically credible and should considerably undercut the real cost of wind power (certainly offshore). The author has considerable experience of both CO2 capture and underground gas storage in the natural gas and petrochemical industry. The current ‘con’ of “Capture-Ready” status will be discussed.

Robin Smith  – Founding Member of the SFR (Systemic Fiscal Reform) group “Energy, climate, land and the market. What are the questions we should be asking”

It is argued governments are stuck on how to deal with the symptoms of the energy crisis rather than finding the root cause. Similar arguments are made around land speculation, dubious financing practices and debt. The SFR group believes all these factors are economically interrelated and are proposing our governing systems immediately question exactly what is at the root cause. Systemic Fiscal Reform it is suggested addresses this complex problem and explains what to do about it.

John Baldwin MD, CNG Services Ltd “The Generation of Electricity from the Gas Network Pressure “
1. Existing technology for pressure reduction
2. Explanation of thermodynamics
3. Expander only
4. Expander-CHP
5. Expander – CHP using Biofuels
6. CO2 impact
7. Basic economics
8. Market overview


Speakers bios:


Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Phys. Gregor Czisch


Dr. Gregor Czisch, a fully qualified agriculturist, studied physics at MunichTechnicalUniversity, specializing in energy supply. He wrote his PhD in electrical engineering on scenarios for a future electricity supply with renewable energies. Since 1987, he has worked on various topics in the energy-related field at Munich TU, the DLR Stuttgart, the Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg, and the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching. Among his key areas of scientific focus were solar building engineering, utilization of biomass, wind energy and hydropower, primary energy analyses, emission analyses, high temperature heat storage and solar thermal power plants. During his work in the R&D division Information and Energy Economy at the Institute for Solar Energy Supply Techniques (ISET) and at the Institute for Electrical Energy Technology/Rational Energy Conversion (IEE-RE) at the University of Kassel, he worked on potential-analyses for renewable energies and on simulating their production behaviour, on conceptualizing energy transport systems and on developing scenarios for a CO2-neutral electricity supply.  This work resulted, among other things, in a PhD with the title “Scenarios for a Future Electricity Supply – Cost-Optimized Approaches to Supplying Europe and its Neighbours with Electricity from Renewable Energies”, for which he was awarded the distinction summa cum laude. One key role was played by models he created for energy supply systems as the basis for system configuration, operation planning and power plant dispatch by means of mathematical optimization. Questions of business and economics meant that a detailed analysis of the typical market costs of all kinds of different components in energy supply systems needed to be carried out in addition to the analysis of technical aspects. Since completing his doctorate, parallel to his research at the University of Kassel, Dr Gregor Czisch has worked as a consultant to the Scientific Advisory Council on Environmental Change of the German Federal Government (WBGU) and was, among other things, invited as an expert to hearings in various ministries, parliaments and utilities.

Papers by Gregor Czisch:

– Startseite zu einigen Folien, Daten und Veröffentlichungen                         – Dissertation: Szenarien zur zukünftigen Stromversorgung – Kostenoptimierte Variationenzur Versorgung Europas und seiner Nachbarn mit Strom aus erneuerbaren Energien– Low Cost but Totally Renewable Electricity Supply for a Huge Supply Area– Effects of Large-Scale Distribution of Wind Energy in and around Europe– Global Renewable Energy Potential and Approaches to its Use– High wind power penetration within huge catchment areas shown in an European example– Expertise zur möglichen Bedeutung einer EU überschreitenden Nutzung von Wind- und Solarenergie– Interview mit Sonne Wind & Wärme– Windenergie gestern, heute und morgen– Potentiale der regenerativen Stromerzeugung in Nordafrika– Regenerativer Strom für Europa durch Fernübertragung elektrischer Energie 



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