Challenges and Opportunities of Renewable Energy – NERC

On 30th June 2016 Professor Gail Taylor, Dr Jeanette Whitaker and Dr Rob Holland from MAGLUE attended a NERC event at the QEII conference centre in London showcasing NERC Science on renewable energy. Here is an overview of the event.

Posted on 23 August 2016.

On 30th June 2016 Professor Gail Taylor, Dr Jeanette Whitaker and Dr Rob Holland from MAGLUE attended a NERC event at the QEII conference centre in London showcasing NERC Science on renewable energy.  NERC has funded a range of research and innovation projects to support the development of land-based and marine renewable energy over the past 5 years. This event brought together industry, academia, investors and policy makers in order to communicate the outcomes from NERC funded renewable energy research including NERC CarboBiocrop (www.carbo-biocrop.ac.uk), a forerunner of MAGLUE.

Gail Taylor kicked off the Land-based Renewable Energy theme chairing a session exploring the broad scale implications of renewable energy with talks on soil carbon sequestration under bioenergy crops, algal biofuels and ecosystem service impacts of bioenergy.

Session 2 chaired by Matt Davey of Phytofutures Ltd focused on trade-offs and best practice for the deployment of solar, wind and bio-energy including resolving conflicts between wind energy and bat conservation, and a framework for reviewing trade-offs between renewable energy, food, feed and wood production.

After a networking lunch, session 3 focused on the innovation and research needs for land-based renewables with a closing presentation by Gail Taylor on the potential for improved bioenergy crops through novel genome editing techniques.

The final session facilitated by the KTN was aimed at identifying research and investment gaps for future funding calls. Roundtable discussions were used to gather ideas, intelligence and experience from academics, industry and government delegates to inform future challenges which could be addressed through NERC led strategic R&D and innovation programmes on a range of key issues including:

  • Development of a multi criteria planning framework based on future proofing wind, solar, and bioenergy
  • Evidence and tools to support land use planning and sustainability accounting
  • Designer crops for resilience to climate change whilst optimising yields
  • Capturing and enhancing the whole systems benefits of land-based renewables

Outputs from these discussion are being taken forward through the development of NERC Highlight topic ideas for strategic research calls.

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