The Conservative Party Leader Mr David Cameron MP visited the Sustainable Energy Research Group within the School of Civil Engineering and the Environment. He was welcomed to the University by the Vice Chancellor Prof Bill Wakeham and Prof William Powrie, head of School. Prof ‘Bakr Bahaj described some of the Sustainable Energy Research Group’s activities in renewable energy systems, energy in buildings (including microgeneration technologies). He also presented to the visitors various issues related to building refurbishment and occupier comfort that the Group is researching.
Background for the visit was the publication of the interim findings of the Conserverative Party’s Energy Review on the same day in Bornemouth.
Conservative Party Energy Review – Interim Findings

Focus of the Visit: Marine Current Energy
The main focus of Mr Cameron’s visit was the Group’s activities in marine current energy conversion and the issues associated with the understanding of the resource, the conversion devices (turbines), energy extraction from appropriate sites and operation in arrays or tidal farms. Dr. William Batten outlined aspects of the testing undertaken of marine current turbines and the contribution of the work to industry.

Experimental Demonstration in the Hydrodynamics Laboratories

Experimental demonstration in the Hydrodynamics Laboratories was given by Dr. Luke Myers showing device wake effects in tidal streams. In addition, low head hydro developments of waterwheels undertaken within the Group by Dr. Gerald Müller were also demonstrated.

Fundamental Issues in Deployment of Large Scale Marine Energy Technology

At the end of the visit Prof ‘Bakr Bahaj highlighted some of the fundamental issues that still exist for large scale deployment of the marine energy technology. Mr David Cameron MP showed interest in the approach undertaken by the Group to research the fundamentals of marine current turbine devices, their operation in farms, the understanding of the resource and the potential contribution to electricity generation within the UK .
briefing note for the visit [pdf]

Bulletin Article

Details about the visit were published in the Universitiy’s staff newsletter ‘Bulletin’:

view bulletin article