As part of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s flagship event series Curious, Professor Andy Sloan FRSE will give a talk about Scotland’s green energy storage potential.
The talk, taking place on 5 September both online and in person, is free to all to attend and will be a chance for people to learn how prosperous Scotland’s future may be if it harnesses its true potential in green energy storage, and draws upon its own major engineering heritage and the new technology of green hydrogen.
Curious is the RSE’s free event series which invites people from across the country to engage with experts from a wide range of different disciplines – poetry, forensics, anthropology, engineering, history and so on – to get under the surface of a variety of topics affecting the world today.
Professor Sloan, who is also managing director of engineering consultancy COWI in the UK, said: “With this year’s theme of Curious being under the surface, my mind got to work on how I could contribute. I want to give people an insight into where Scotland’s future may lie with sustainable energy.
“I feel that there are such interesting engineering projects linked with the green transition, and the business and I have a great passion for getting people interested in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics].
“When you grow up in Scotland there is always the knowledge of the rich heritage of massive engineering projects in hydroelectric energy.”
The appetite for sustainable energy has never been bigger, as the cost of living rises, climate change is persistently in the headlines, and the UK pushes towards net-zero.
And according to Professor Sloan, Scotland is undergoing a ‘renaissance’ in hydro pump storage.
He added: “The reason for the proposed hydroelectric developments is the need for long-term storage for the UK energy market. The time is right for these developments for UK and Scotland in particular, in its journey to net-zero by 2045.”
Energy can be stored in a variety of different ways, and people will have the opportunity to learn and discuss these as part of Professor Sloan’s talk. There will be specific focus on SSE’s huge Coire Glas project in Loch Lochy. This will involve the construction of a dam high in a high coire from where water will travel down through tunnels and through turbines housed in caverns excavated deep under-ground to the loch below. In periods of time with excess electricity production the water flow is reversed to fill the upper reservoir.
Professor Sloan’s talk will offer an insight into the latest developments in energy storage and allow people to explore the current trajectory of Scotland’s energy storage industry. In addition, Scotland’s engineering heritage is alive and well with projects like Coire Glas – the first large-scale pumped hydroelectric storage scheme to be developed in the UK for more than 40 years.
The event – Scotland: the green energy storage superpower? – is being held both in person and online on Tuesday 5 September at 6pm. Visit www.rse-curious.com to book your free ticket.