Wind farm by Slaunger
Nikki Silcock

Member Article

North East punching above weight on green agenda

Delegates at a major conference dedicated to the region’s energy and environmental sectors have heard how the North East is punching above its weight on the green agenda.

Energy and Environment North East 2012, which was held at Newcastle’s Mariott Hotel, brought together leading businesses, opinion formers and guests from across the low carbon industries.

The event, organised by the Energy and Environmental Industries Forum (EEIF), helped to showcase the region’s ‘green revolution’ with guests hearing presentations from a series of world leading projects taking place from Tyneside to Teesside.

Keynote speaker at the event was international sustainability expert Gareth Kane whose presentation Energy 2.0 explored future energy needs and how the North East can meet these demands.

Businesses at the event also heard from the chairs of the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships and took part in a lively panel debate on how the North East can become a European ‘green hub’.

Calls were made for greater Government clarity on green policy, better access to finance and fresh ways to tackle skills gaps to help support the development of low carbon technologies.

John Barton from the EEIF, who chaired the event, said: “We have a lot to be proud of in this region and some real ‘game changing’ projects and green technologies.

“This was highlighted at the event and the recurring theme throughout the day was that the region is clearly punching above its weight on the green agenda.

“We have a good infrastructure, a strong skills base, many exciting businesses and a real opportunity to ensure the region is at the forefront of future growth.”

Among the projects highlighted at the event was PYReco’s groundbreaking tyre pyrolysis plant. Anthony Carter, founder and chairman of the firm, outlined plans to build the plant - the first of its kind in Europe - on Teesside. The plant would recycle tyres back into their constituent parts and, once complete, could help make the region a ‘green hub’ for Europe.

Five Quarter, a coal gasification project, was also showcased. This could see a £2bn carbon capture and storage project take place in the region if given the go ahead.

Lisa Jordan, business manager at Air Products, spoke of her company’s waste to energy plant in the Tees Valley that diverts 350,000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year.

While Patrick Steinlet from Patrick Parsons also outlined how the Tees barrage can be a trend setter for future hydro-electric power schemes.

Energy and Environment North East is the second annual conference organised by the EEIF. The organisation is a membership body representing the North East’s low carbon environmental goods and services sector, which numbers around 1,000 businesses, and is keen to hear from anyone interested in exhibiting or attending the event.

John added: “We have real potential to play a leading role in the green revolution and this event gives people an opportunity to come together to share ideas, develop new business opportunities and ideas.”

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This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Nikki Silcock .

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