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North East energy bid showcased in Newcastle

Coal mine
Date 16 Aug 2007
Author The Editor
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The group intends to reduce reliance on traditional energy resources

An event showcasing the North East's bid to host the UK's £1bn clean energy institute has been held in Newcastle. A consortium, including Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham universities, is on a shortlist of five to lead the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). The centre, to be part-funded by the government, will research low-emission methods of generating electricity.

The Department of Trade and Industry has promised to provide up to £500m over the next decade, and private sector partners, including energy companies, will help match that commitment. If the North East's bid is successful, ETI's director and support staff will be based at the Devonshire Building, where the showcase event was held on Tuesday, and which has won major awards for its environmentally-friendly design features.

Nick Brown, MP for Newcastle East, said: "North East England is striving to become one of the world's first carbon neutral regions. Newcastle University's Devonshire Building is leading the way in showing the world what can be done to minimise carbon emissions."

Professor Paul Younger, co-ordinator of the North East England bid said: "This area has deeper roots in energy science and engineering than any other region in the world. The first global fossil fuel export industry was established here at the end of the 16th Century and, now we lead the UK in bringing bioenergy, hydrogen technologies and geothermal energy to market. Our team believes passionately that the ETI would thrive in North East England, and is committed to bringing the project to its natural home."

The other four shortlisted bidders are the Midlands Consortium, North West Consortium, Scottish Partnership and Sheffield University. A short-listing decision to narrow down the competition to just two bids is expected on 23 August. The winner will be announced by the government in October.

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