Press Invite: Making the UK Energy Independent: Cornwall Energy Island Conference
Where: Eden Project, Cornwall, UK
When: Next Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, 2015.
What: Eden Project and partners BuroHappold Engineering are holding a two-day high-level conference to work out how Cornwall can lead the way in energy independence.
They are bringing together interested parties to create an action plan for Cornwall, which can be replicated across the UK and internationally.
Cornwall, a windy peninsula with a backbone of granite, is blessed with some of the best renewable energy resources in the world. With solar, wind, biomass, marine and geothermal combined, we should be able to generate more than enough power for ourselves, and become a net exporter. These riches give us choices: how do we balance the interests of local and global investors, efficiency and visual intrusion, and manage demand while keeping as many of the benefits as possible in the county? In partnership with BuroHappold, Eden will be exploring these choices at a two-day invitation-only conference.
Among the speakers are:
•Sir Tim Smit, Co-Founder of the Eden Project, on energy independence for Cornwall: "If you were the king of an island dependent on something crucial to your wellbeing that comes from outside your shores, would the evidence of history support this as a sound strategy for national security? If not, what would you do to put your security in your own hands? It is a National security question first!”
•Roger Nickells, CEO of BuroHappold, who have built Cornwall specific scenarios and games to help delegates work through the options while keeping the lights on
•Professor Stephen Frankel, of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership, whose strategy focuses on Environmental Growth, rather than degradation
•Mike Mason, serial green entrepreneur architect of the Maldives renewable energy policy that went down with a coup
•Professor Catherine Mitchell, Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Exeter
•Chris Pomfret, chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership
•Dr Steven Ford, Leader of the Future Economy Programme at Cornwall Council
Presenting some of the new technologies that can really change the game:
•Charles Purkess of ITM Power, the hydrogen storage and clean fuel company,
•Peter Bance of Origami Energy, a new company aiming to provide the required technology and financial mechanisms to connect, control and actively manage a large network of existing energy generating / energy using / energy storing products.
•Tony Bennett of EGS Energy with a planned deep geothermal power plant on the Eden site.
Also: National Grid, Ofgem, Western Power Distribution, Wales and West, Rehau, and special dinner sponsor, Sophie Orme of Solarcentury, one of the world’s most trusted, respected and long-standing solar companies.
Background: According to Eden and the BuroHappold energy team, “If we can’t make Cornwall energy independent, then the UK can’t be energy independent. It’s as simple as that. Cornwall has everything the UK needs to become truly self-reliant: wind, sun, sea, land. It is also one of the most deprived regions in Europe. If we can make Cornwall energy independent, the benefits locally would be significant. So, we will also consider the financial implications for Cornwall – how can we keep the money in Cornwall, rather than London, or Europe?”
To create an identifiable focus for discussion, BuroHappold has created the ‘Cornwall Energy Island’ project. Attendees will be briefed on renewable energy options and invited to make decisions on their preferences to create their own Cornwall Energy Island solution. Overnight on Monday, BuroHappold experts will use their own software to evaluate the solutions and Tuesday morning will kick off with a look at what some of those solutions would look like in reality and the impacts those solutions might have.
The big questions:
•How are we going to transform the way we live work and play to reduce demand and increase our efficiency
•How should we organise the funding and financing to maximise economic benefit
•How do we keep those benefits in the local area – what’s the return for their investment
•How do we design and deliver the infrastructure that we need?
•How should transformation be led and managed?
•How do we create a regulatory and fiscal environment that will drive change?
•How do we attract the right skills, technologies and expertise?
The Chatham House Rule will apply during sessions; however, you will be able to interview experts from the Eden Project, multi-disciplinary engineering experts, representatives from utilities and energy providers, and those most affected by the decisions, local people and businesses. Attendees may include representatives from regulatory bodies, relevant central government departments, financial institutions and investment companies.
Doors open at 8am on both days, however, we can facilitate a number of media options; from regular live slots throughout a morning or day, a series of live or pre-record radio interviews or video content for digital media.
Media contacts: You are welcome to attend all or part of the conference by calling David Rowe, Head of Media, Eden Project on 01726 811901 or 07813041923 or Kelly A Barnett, MCIPR, Global External Communications Lead 44 (0)1225 320600; Mob: +44 (0)7894 172931
Friday, March 13, 2015 - 16:00