The Great Debate 2016
can renewables meet our electricity needs?
Monday 14 March, 7.00pm | arrivals from 6.00pm
Palmer Building, Whiteknights campus
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Join this annual Great Debate, led by the University of Reading and Engineering Institutions of the Thames Valley to discuss whether renewable energy really can meet our electricity needs.
Electricity generation from renewable sources has increased by a factor of over five in the last decade and contributed 19% of total electricity in 2014. Wind generation continues to provide the largest contribution to the renewable total at 49.5% in 2014 with solar generation contributing only 6.3% but the fastest increasing source, having been almost zero in 2009. Can renewables provide an even greater share of our electricity needs over the coming years and if so at what cost and how do we need to adapt to make the most efficient use of them? This event is designed to provide latest information on current developments to deal with technical and commercial challenges and provide the opportunity for the audience to voice their view.
The event will consist of four short talks by experts in the field followed by an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of a panel formed by the speakers and to offer their own views. The four talks will cover:
1. Wind Power - Professor Fergal Brennan, Director of Energy, Cranfield University,
- is there scope for further evolution of the technology? What are the current challenges and how are they being addressed?
2. Solar Power - Professor Humayun Mughal, CEO, Silicon CPV Plc
- use of solar power has increased significantly and it is not yet as mature as wind power as a technology - how far can it be developed?
3. Energy Storage - Andrew Haslett, Chief Engineer, Energy Technologies Institute
- many forms of renewable energy generation, including wind and solar, are only available intermittently. An ability to store energy to better match availability to demand would be beneficial. What technologies are available or have potential to achieve this economically both as large scale systems and at a domestic level?
4. Grid Changes - Dr Phil Coker, Lecturer in Renewable Energy, University of Reading
- renewable generation units tend to be much smaller in size than the traditional power stations around which the grid developed and much of the renewable generation is intermittent and this proportion is likely to increase. What does this mean for the Grid and what changes are we likely to see in the way electricity generation and demand is managed in the future?