Groundwater's role in reducing our carbon footprint

26 May 2010, Austin Court, Birmingham

The Government’s strategy for energy is clear about the need to reduce our green house gas (GHG) emissions. The recently released ‘UK Low Carbon Transition Plan’ paves the way for low carbon initiatives to enhance our capabilities in carbon capture and storage, renewable energy and nuclear energy. Lower carbon technologies, although essential to reduce the emission of GHGs, can have their own environmental impacts which need to be understood and, if necessary, regulated. The hydro-science community has for a long time recognised groundwater as an asset but increasingly the energy sector are realising the value of groundwater as a means to reduce our carbon footprint. With the importance of groundwater only likely to increase with climate change, can groundwater help fuel the energy sector? Perhaps more importantly do we have the skills to deliver on these issues?

The UK Groundwater Forum’s 2010 conference was entitled Groundwater’s role in reducing our carbon footprint and considered the potential implications of low carbon technologies for groundwater systems. Talks covered issues associated with geothermal energy, carbon capture and storage and energy crops, including regulatory implications, as well as a look at how the water industry can reduce its own carbon footprint.

PDF versions of the talks are provided below for you.

Morning session

Introduction (PDF)
Denis Peach, UK Groundwater Forum Chair

An overview of the energy industry in the UK and Europe (PDF)
Jeff Hardy, UK Energy Research Centre

Energy crops: implications for the UK's groundwater resources (PDF)
Jon Finch, Centre of Ecology and Hydrology

Deep geothermal energy and groundwater in the UK (PDF)
Jon Busby, British Geological Survey

Use of shallow geothermal energy (GSHPs) (PDF)
Richard Shennan, Mott MacDonald Fulcrum

Groundwater - linked options for reducing urban water and energy costs (PDF)
Rae Mackay, University of Birmingham

Afternoon Session

CO2 storage in saline aquifers (PDF)
Dan Smith, British Geological Survey

Savings from pump selection and installation (PDF)
Darren Hewerdine, Energy Optimisation Engineer, Veolia Water

Managing opportunities for energy in the groundwater environment - the regulatory view (PDF)
Anna Hall, Environment Agency

Summing up: the challenges in taking advantage of the opportunities that groundwater provides (PDF)
Phil Hayes, Amec Entec


Conference attendance list (PDF)

Sponsored by:

Aquaterra