Wednesday, 20 August 2008

NaREC and CENER to address renewable solutions at a community level

UK’s New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) and National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain (CENER) have joined hands for a one-year project.

For this project, which will focus on creating new ways of generating and distributing power from small-scale renewables within communities, technology experts from the UK’s leading renewable energy R&D centre will work with their counterparts at CENER.

On the significance of the tie-up, Dr. Keith Melton, Director of Technology and Innovation at NaREC said the centre would be addressing renewable solutions at a community level in a way which has not yet been previously attempted by the energy industry.

According to NaREC, there is a significant amount of interest across Europe in so-called ‘Smart-grid’ systems better capable of transmitting and distributing power from different renewable resources in a reliable, flexible electrical network. Creating localised, intelligent electrical networks, will protect power users from the future risks of black-outs and periods of electricity shortages when electricity supplies struggle to meet with increased energy demands during peak periods.

The team is currently identifying existing communities within Spain and the UK with populations of between 10 and 25 000, which can be used as test subjects for ‘smart-grid’ renewable systems. The project will showcase the most appropriate technical solutions for integrating low carbon power generation technologies into a localised, community-based electrical system.

The project followed agreements made between former Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Zapatero of Spain to deepen collaboration between the two countries in the field of renewable energy. Officials at the British Embassy in Madrid and the President’s private office developed the concept, which is now being delivered by NaREC and CENER.

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