'Energy Test Bed: monitoring the subsurface'

Series Name Geology Special Research Seminar
Speaker Professor Mike Stephenson, Director of Science and Technology at the British Geological Survey
Type Lectures & Talks
When 22 Nov 2013, 04:00PM - 05:00PM
Venue Lecture Theatre 10, Bennett Building
Open To University staff and students
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact Gail Andrews (ga16@Le.ac.uk)

This multidisciplinary initiative at the interface of science and society provides a range of opportunities for collaboration between the University and BGS across a number of disciplines. Interested colleagues in all Colleges are most welcome to attend.


Monitoring and regulation are vital for orderly and sustainable energy development, and public and investor confidence. The oil sands of Alberta are a good example. Oil sands have high CO2, land impacts and water impacts. The Alberta Environmental Monitoring Agency (http://environment.alberta.ca/03379.html) is a conscious effort to monitor environmental effects while reassuring the public of the managerial competence of the operators and regulator. Britain should consider a more comprehensive monitoring system so that subsurface usage can be managed to the satisfaction of the public. This is particularly pertinent to low-carbon energy because the feasibility of four ‘lower carbon’ energy solutions rely on understanding of subsurface geological containment or flow: CCS, shale gas, radioactive waste disposal and deep geothermal. Lack of understanding and uncertainty feeds through to lack of confidence amongst policy makers and industrial investors, and most of all to lack of public confidence. BGS is proposing an infrastructure (the ‘Energy Test Bed’) to enable better understanding of subsurface processes, it will help to engender public confidence, and might speed new technology energy options (e.g. compressed air energy storage) to commercialisation.