New ICE chief calls for clean energy

Posted: 11/09/2011 in all marine news

Maritime Journal – 

Meeting carbon emissions targets requires concerted and unprecedented action from Government, the construction industry and the civil engineering profession.

That was the message from the 147th president of the UK’s Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Richard Coackley, speaking to an audience of over 400 industry leaders, engineers and Government representatives earlier this month.

Infrastructure networks, particularly energy generation and transport, contribute a significant proportion of the UK’s, and the world’s, carbon emissions, he said, adding that adapting infrastructure to support a low carbon society in future would require “the greatest peacetime mobilisation of society in our time.”

Coackley, who is director of energy development, power and energy at URS Scott Wilson, said that the scale of the task ahead could not be underestimated.

“We must reduce carbon emissions while at the same time keeping the lights on and ensuring quality of life.

And we must do this within the context of a changing energy sector and a fast expanding population that will see demand for resources continue to increase.

“Compounding the issue is the urgency with which this must be achieved. A quarter of our electricity generating capacity is coming offline in the next decade and must be replaced by low carbon alternatives, many of which rely on technologies that are still in infancy.

“There are no two ways about it, our future, and the future of the planet, depends on securing access to clean, affordable and reliable sources of power.”

Coackley said the role of civil engineers is critical to succeeding but stressed that Government and industry have equally important roles to play. He called on all three groups to rise to the challenges he set out.

He said, “The challenge to industry is to speak with ‘One Voice’, being united in driving forward the priorities on which there is consensus; harnessing energy, sustainable growth and resilience.

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