What a week of Energy in and around Birmingham last week was!
On 13th June we had a Science Capital event on Power for the People which showcased and discussed the thriving research, demonstration and business in distributed and renewable energy we have going on locally. We heard about pyrolosis of waste to produce energy from Aston University’s EBRI, the value of distributed energy systems from Fine Energy, rare earth magnets in improving effieciency of wind and wave energy from Rex Harris of Birmingham University. (All presentation available by clicking on presenters name in the Science Capital meeting page.) This led to a well informed discussion, including participants from the renewable energy industry, universities, lawyers and more, ranging from relative efficiencies of renewable sources, the arguments for subsidies, plans for using waste to provide power for Birmingham and much more. As well as exciting R&D, the presentations and discussion highlighted real opportunities for local businesses.
Two days later the Board of Birmingham Science City was treated to more examples of excellent collaborative R&D and innovation around energy. We heard about the Science City Research Alliance between Birmingham and Warwick Universities, including the Energy Futures Programme, and its cutting edge research and engagement with businesses large and small. E.ON told us about the sustainable city partnerships they are building with cities across the UK, with Stoke-on-Trent leading the way and partnerships with Birmingham and Coventry developing apace, and we were updated on the West Middlands activities and opportunities within the EC Climate Knowledge and Innovation Centre. As well as being exciting in their own right, some potentially fruitful linkages between these initiatives were discussed and will be taken forward.
So what will this week bring? On Tuesday Birmingham Science City’s Low Carbon Working Group will meet. Amongst other things it will be discussing potential new collaborative projects and demonstrators involving the public, private and HE sectors. Perhaps this will lead to cutting-edge energy activity that we will be showcasing at events in the future…