Club Meeting at Ashmores

Thu, Jan 27th 2022 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Phil Nicolson - Renewable Energy

Club members please log in for more information.

27th January 2022 Renewable Energy – Phil Nicholson

Phil’s second talk to the Club and was as fascinating, informative and interesting as the last one! He works for the Department of International Trade as an Electrical Networks and renewable energy specialist so he thought he would give us some insights into their activity split over the following headings.

* Net Zero Carbon   * UK Government Policy   * Innovation and Investment  *UK Generation Mix  *Renewable Energy generation (Offshore)  *Energy Storage

3500 people work at the DIT & they are housed in the magnificent Old Admiralty Building, they work alongside BEIS (business energy and Industrial Strategy) and FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) to secure UK and Global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment, and championing free trade.

Within in DIT is DGET (Director General for Exports & UK Trade, with 12 sectors, one being Energy, where Phil works and involving him in much travel all over the World dealing with Embassies, NGO’s and High Commissions.

Net Zero Carbon by 2050 – no small undertaking that the UK Government being the first major Nation to back this pledge.  Carbon emissions are created by burning fossil fuels to heat homes, businesses and offices, transport as well as such energy intensive industries as Steel, Glass and Cement. It is unlikely we will ever get rid of carbon emissions totally, but there are methods such as solar and wind power generation, electric vehicles to limit them and systems to offset them.

He then posed the question as to how many of us use gas boilers to heat our homes. Hands up all round and in the UK, 85% or 23 million of residential buildings are currently connected to the gas grid, using a boiler and a wet-based central heating system.   Quite a Challenge & the Government has a 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution (see picture 3), this requires changes in Regulation: the 3 D’s: Decentralisation, Decarbonisation and Digitalisation are the ‘drivers’, which have impact on the Energy System & in turn impact on Regulation. The UK has an Independent Regulator - Ofgem (Office of Gas & Electricity Markets), but it is important to share any learning we achieve.

He then moved on to talk about Innovation and Catapults, we used to call it R & D, working with academia to develop innovative concepts through to commercial solutions. Catapults are not-for-profit, independent technology & innovation centres that connect businesses with the UK’s research and academic communities.  There is an Industrial Strategy Document available that gives more information on this. We need to remove coal from our energy mix by 2025, it’s currently down to 3%, but we still need it bin our cold winter spells.

Our Government do not support ‘on-shore’ Wind generation, but according to Market intelligence we have the World’s largest Offshore Wind (OSW) market, soon to be surpassed by China! In the last decade the UK has deployed 10GW of OSW, but need to get to 40GW by 2030.  To put things in context the Total max winter electricity demand for the UK is of the order of 55GW, so what do we do when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine? … Because of the massive investments required for OSW a system of ‘curtailment’ is operated by the National Grid with payments made to the wind farm owners when they cannot generate.  £200m of these payments were made in 2021. An alternative solution is to co-locate Energy Storage (ESS) facilities close to renewable generation sources. Typical ESS categories are: * Batteries * Thermal * Mechanical * Hydrogen & * Pumped Hydro.  To fully embrace these technologies, they need to be incorporated into flexible electricity systems. The UK Electricity System is part of a much larger, integrated network across not only Europe, but Scandinavia, Russia, Turkey and N. Africa. To do some of this Interconnectors are required (cables) that enable electricity to flow between countries, with High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) being the most efficient way. However, Phil outlined some of the challenges that need to be overcome to improve multiple cable entries or a shared transmission system for multiple generators.

Many questions flowed regarding Tidal generation, Nuclear, the impact of electric vehicles on the local electricity networks charging points, all well fielded, but time was called by the president.  This was followed by a very complimentary Vote of Thanks from Trevor that started with the question to Phil ”As you are very involved with the Government in your work, do you ever get invited to their ‘Cheese and Wine Parties’”?

Members joined Trevor with an enthusiastic round of applause.                                               AR

'What We Do' Main Pages:

It's here that you can read what we've been up to in the last few months. For more information on our work in the local community, with our young people and internationally please access "what we do" section of this web site.


And then there were two....


We have now successfully run this event for 10 years. Full reports of each year are available under this main page


If you like what we do as an organisation and are interested in volunteering with us, keeping up to date with our plans and future events then why not consider signing up as a friend of our Rotary Club


This is a monthly meeting open to visitors from Bingham, Radcliffe, Cotgrave and all villages in surrounding area.


This committee are involved in planning now we can raise funds for our chosen charities


Chris Netherwood is the chair of this committee


Our International Committee is involved with Polio Plus - a Rotary initiative to eradicate Polio, World-wide; Sand dams; Aqua Boxes; Shelter Boxes; Collecting used spectacles, and many other projects


Here you can read about the many meetings we've had during our formation as a Rotary Club. The early years are a little short on detail...