Liverpool Companies Fighting Climate Change
Clarke Energy has deployed over 5, pills 000MW of low carbon and renewable energy power
The Conference of Parties 21st yearly session, remedy or the COP21 Climate Conference, in Paris in late 2015 was a turning point in the quest for reaching a global consensus on climate change. The international community, including the United States and China, have agreed on an international temperature limit of ‘well below 2°C’ along with ‘efforts to limit increases to 1.5°C’.
Liverpool-based companies are already playing a key role in helping to achieve this target. Clarke Energy’s multinational headquarters are located in Knowlsey and are at the international forefront of the installation of energy efficient and renewable gas-fuelled power plants. Clarke Energy has deployed over 5,000MW of low carbon and renewable energy power generation equipment globally, equivalent to 13.5million typical UK homes power demand.
Experience gained in developing UK combined heat and power (CHP) plants including those at Liverpool University and Broadgreen Hospital is being used on international schemes. CHP technology is where power is produced from a gas-fuelled generator, the heat is recovered as hot water and is used locally. CHP achieves fuel efficiency levels in excess of 90% meaning greatly reduced carbon emissions. As the power is produced close to the site of use there are also little transmission losses.
Biogas is a renewable gas that is created from the decomposition of food waste, human waste – ‘poo-power’, or purpose grown energy crops. It is produced in anaerobic digesters can be converted into renewable energy using a generator. It also has significant benefits over well-known renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar power. This is because it generates electricity consistently rather than when the wind blows or sun shines. In parallel to renewable power production it also treats problematic waste whilst producing a low-carbon fertiliser for plants. United Utilities deploys technology for creating biogas out of human waste across the north-west of England and also companies such as H2 Energy have developed food waste treatment systems in Liverpool.
Another challenge with the move away from large centralised power plants to renewable energy and embedded generation (production of electricity close to the site of use) is the intermittency of wind and solar power generation. Old power stations are being closed down and there is a mismatch between when the sun shines, wind blows and when people want to use electricity. This mismatch needs to be balanced in some way and the UK government has established the Capacity Market to meet this challenge. Clarke Energy is developing a number of power stations for key customers across the UK that can be turned on at short notice and help deliver power in support of the grid and to keep people’s lights on.
There are many other opportunities for Liverpool-based companies to deliver sustainable solutions that help reduce international carbon emissions and the region can become at the international forefront of this sector.