Dec 10 2009
Renewable energy high on the agenda at GCU
Renewable and clean energy enjoys a ‘significant comparative advantage’ in Scotland according to a Scottish Government report published this week.
The study highlights Scotland’s location, natural resources, research and development and manufacturing bases as key advantages for developing Scotland’s clean energy resource.
The report shows one additional gigawatt of onshore or offshore wind capacity could reduce Scotland’s current total carbon emissions by around 3%. Electricity grid infrastructure will be a fundamental influence on Scotland’s ability to accommodate growth in renewables.
Energy Minister Jim Mather said Scotland’s energy advantage lies in securing low carbon electricity from renewables and clean fossil fuels.
The Scottish Government has recruited the help of Scottish Water, John Lewis, BT and Scottish Power for a new 2020 Delivery Group to ensure that all sectors of Scotland’s economy and civic society contribute fully to achieving the Climate Change Delivery Plan which includes the target of a 42% reduction in emissions over the next decade.
Dr Alastair Sutherland of the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University says: ‘Here at GCU’s School of Life Sciences, we are looking at optimising microbial consortia in anaerobic digestion so that we can more efficiently generate biofuels including methane gas at micro- and macro-generation levels.
‘Inputs can be waste material or substrate such as seaweed or microalgae grown noncompetitively with food crops. We are particularly investigating anaerobic digestion of seaweed for use by small island communities and perhaps councils who need to remove cast seaweed from leisure beaches.
‘However, anaerobic digestion of grass and other horticultural waste and waste paper are being investigated. The benefits are developments in renewable biofuels, reduction in landfill waste and the release of associated methane (a greenhouse gas) from landfill.’
The School of Life Sciences works with local, national and international partners and is fully committed to promoting the economic vitality of Scotland and the UK . To find out more contact the Applied Knowledge Exchange.