National Grid boss sets out the energy challenge that faces us all

21 Mar 2011 16:04:19.057

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The Chief Executive of National Grid will be visiting the National Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage at The University of Nottingham on Tuesday March 22 2011. During his visit to the University Steve Holliday will deliver a public lecture titled ‘The Future of Energy’.

Before a public audience Mr Holliday will spell out the energy challenge that faces us all and what we can do to meet it — in a sustainable and affordable way. With a significant proportion of the UK’s electricity generation capacity set to close in the coming years, and the desire to reduce emissions, he will compare the scale of the challenge to “first energy revolution”, the creation of the national grid in the first part of the Twentieth Century.  

National Grid believes that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) could be a key tool to meeting climate change targets whilst ensuring security of supply and a diverse energy mix.
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National Grid is taking a close look at CCS and how it can apply its skills in building and operating high pressure gas transmission pipelines to transport carbon dioxide (CO2) from power stations and heavy industry to storage offshore. The company is working as part of the ScottishPower CCS Consortium to deliver the Longannet project and is developing a CO2 network on Humberside, allowing a cluster of power stations or other heavy industry adopting CCS to use the same pipeline infrastructure. National Grid believes that CCS clusters would be a practical and economic way of transporting CO2 avoiding wasteful duplication of each building using its own separate pipeline to transport CO2.

The international electricity and gas company is keen to see the UK take the lead in developing this technology.  The component elements of CCS are well understood, but the company wants to see a large-scale end to end demonstration from the power plant to the storage field through an integrated CO2 transportation network.  To this end, National Grid has committed £600,000 of funding for CCS research at The University of Nottingham.

Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Professor in Energy Technologies, is Head of Energy and Sustainability Research Division and leads the National Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage, a joint venture between The University of Nottingham and the British Geological Survey. She said: “Mr Holliday’s visit to the Centre will be an opportunity to hear more about the research, training and outreach activities that are going on at the Centre. We are delighted to be able to share our vision to develop one of the world’s first integrated research centres in CCS that will be well placed to take advantage of a new industry that could deliver greater CO2 reductions by 2050 than any other single technology and in the UK alone CCS could be worth £6.5bn and create up to 100,000 jobs by 2030”

Mr Holliday graduated from The University of Nottingham in 1978 with a degree in mining engineering. He spent 19 years with the Exxon Group and went on to become Executive Director of British Borneo Oil and Gas before joining National Grid in March 2001. He became the company’s Chief Executive in January 2007.

Steve Holliday, National Grid Chief Executive, said: “Our energy future is one of the most important challenges of the age.  It’s a hugely exciting time to be working in the industry, and I’m very pleased to be coming back to my old university to talk about it. CCS can play a vital role in both keeping the lights on and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, so I look forward to seeing the work of the National Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage first hand.”

Mr Holliday’s lecture takes place on Tuesday March 22 2011 at 12noon to 12.50pm in the Lecture Theatre B52, Nottingham University Business School South, Jubilee Campus, Nottingham NG8 1BB

To book a place please email

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

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More information is available from Mercedes Maroto-Valer on +44 (0)115 846 6893,; or Jo Dunn, Senior Corporate Events Manager, +44
(0)115 951 3997,
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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