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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

Past Events

Find out about some of the previous events held by Durham Energy Institute:

Low Carbon Economy ECSFF call - Research Generator meeting

24th October 2013, 12:00 to 14:00, Focus Room, Level 2, Christopherson Building, School of Engineering & Computing Sciences

Maggie Bosanquet, Durham County Council's Team Leader for Sustainability and Climate Change, will be visiting Durham on Thursday 24 October to discuss potential joint projects to be submitted within the 'Low Carbon Economy' call (estimated total fund ~£14M) under the European Common Strategic Framework Funds (2014-2020) programme. It is hoped that other potential external partners will also be attending. 

Key project areas are:

  1. Durham Business Energy Efficiency Project
  2. Community Energy
  3. Green Spaces / Climate Change Adaptation
  4. Biomass Supply Chain

Please can you let Alison Norton ( know by Tues 22 October if you would be interested in joining the discussions – and if so whether you would be available to attend the meeting? A sandwich lunch will be provided. 

Back ground information for the disucssion:

Maggie Bosanquet, Durham County Council's Team Leader for Sustainability and Climate Change, has been asked to set up a County-wide partnership to develop pipeline projects under the 'Low Carbon Economy' theme for the forthcoming round of European funding, which starts next year.

My current estimate is that at least £14 million is likely to be ring fenced against the right projects under this category, although there are many variables involved so nothing is guaranteed at this stage.

Projects only need to put forward 40% of the total funding requirement and this can then be matched to 60% funding from Europe, administered through the North East LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership).

We are currently looking at 4 project areas; three under ERDF and one under the Rural Programme. There are clear cross-overs between the projects so some of them may be combined prior to submission.

In outline, the projects are:

1. Durham Business Energy Efficiency Project

The provision of accessible advice and support for County Durham's 12,000+ SMEs to help then reduce energy costs / carbon emissions. Many have never had any help in this field whilst others have had energy surveys undertaken but have not acted on them. Advice will be primarily web based and will be categorised by technology; SME type; building type and financial mechanisms. ICT will form a key element of this project, linked to Digital Durham and to social media. New technologies, loan schemes, training opportunities, SME competitiveness etc. are areas we want to explore.

2. Community Energy

Supporting the development of community owned energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. County Durham's communities are shaped by the historic extraction of fossil fuels to feed the industrial revolution leaving scattered settlements in rural environments, hard to treat properties, high levels of fuel poverty and low levels of employment. We want to work through community 'hubs' (schools; community groups; village shops or businesses, etc.). Community development; Energy pay-back; ICT; local employment and fuel poverty are some of the many issues under consideration.

3. Green Spaces / Climate Change Adaptation

A large proportion of County Durham comprises green space, the functionality of which could be maximised to enhance the ability to adapt to a changing climate whilst also benefitting physical and mental health, biodiversity, landscape, tourism and leisure, etc. Tree planting, wetland creation, peatland protection, etc. can help reduce surface water run-off and flood risk, improve urban micro-climates, provide shading and wind breaks, reduce local pollution and so on. Local training and job creation, funding mechanisms, land ownership and climate change impacts will be key issues.

4. Biomass Supply Chain

Developing and promoting the production and use of biomass as a local, low carbon fuel source. Woodland creation and management, biomass heating systems (including district heating), training and job creation and supply chain development are the key elements of this project.

N.B. This project would sit under the Rural Development Programme, details of which are not yet known. 

Contact for more information about this event.