Sustainable Geoenergy Solutions: Offshore wind and Geoasset Development

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Exploring the potential for geoscience to contribute to the low carbon energy transition

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Energy Leeds and Priestley International Centre for Climate invite you to a webinar exploring the potential for geoscience to contribute to the low carbon energy transition

Summary: This webinar presents some of the outcome of the current interdisciplinary project “Sustainable Geoenergy Solutions” at SEE bringing together geoscientists, engineers and social scientist. The project aims to identify the potential for geoscience to contribute to the low carbon energy transition. The webinar will consist of 2 presentations and subsequent opportunity for questions and discussion.

This webinar is open to University of Leeds staff and students only.

Part I: The potential for geoscience to contribute to sustainable offshore wind development

Dr Anne Velenturf, Research Impact Fellow in Circular Economy and Sustainable Offshore Wind Development, Schools of Civil Engineering and Earth & Environment

Low carbon infrastructure such as wind and solar farms are crucial for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and to limit global temperature rises to well below 2°C. Offshore wind has become a preferred technology with rapidly decreasing costs and a high social acceptance. In 2019 a total of 27GW offshore wind was in operation globally with a further 7GW under construction. A steady growth of offshore wind is expected and this raises new challenges for sustainable development. This presentation will share new research findings on the sustainability challenges and opportunities from offshore wind and connect these to solutions from the geo-sciences. The presentation will conclude with recommendations for research priorities, education and skills, and systems for effective data sharing and collaboration with industry.

Part 2: Social acceptance of Geoasset development: challenges and opportunities for the low carbon transition

Dr Imogen Rattle, Research Assistant, School of Earth & Environment

Proactive leadership and joined up solutions are needed if the UK is to reach its net zero goals. This is particularly so for the decarbonisation of heat, where progress has lagged behind the energy sector, and for the storage of intermittent renewable energy, where solutions have predominantly focussed on battery storage. Geoassets, such as disused mine shafts and subsurface aquifers, provide a to date relatively unexplored alternative to the mainstream options, however subsurface development can be contentious as disputes over shale gas extraction and nuclear storage have shown. This presentation reveals the challenges and opportunities for geoasset development in the Yorkshire and Humber region from a social science perspective, drawing upon lessons learned from existing subsurface developments in the North East. With increasing calls to 'build back better’; following COVID 19, it asks how this outcome might be achieved in the case of geoasst development.

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