According to the news it is set to be a busy time for engineering consultants thanks to Government proposals to introduce low carbon power stations, transport and manufacturing to Britain. This comes after the G8 summit proposals were branded as unattainable. The general consensus is that low carbon technology needs to be implemented immediately, even if the targets that were set are unlikely to be met by the technologies in place at present.
Engineering consultants are currently working on plans to build clean coal power stations that use a carbon sequestering system to mitigate carbon dioxide released through burning fossil fuels. The clean coal solution has not been popular with environmental activists, and it was openly opposed at a recent film premier where Ed Miliband was present.
An actor who stars in an environmental drama documentary about the world as it will be should we not heed the advice of environmental consultants declared that he will return his OBE to the queen if the Labour government go ahead with proposals to introduce four clean coal power stations. This comes in the run up to the Copenhagen agreement due to take place later this year.
Whilst it is recognised that the Government should take action as soon as possible to meet targets set through the Kyoto Protocol regarding carbon emissions, it has been proposed that the rate at which low carbon technology is developing is too slow. In the meantime therefore it is more productive to implement something rather than nothing.
It seems that the problem facing engineering consultants is the so called ‘valley of death’, which is the area that lies between concept and commercial implementation. There are many technologies that have been developed that will provide energy from sustainable sources, but the downfall is making such technology economically viable as an effective solution to commercial production.
At present clean coal technology has been proved to be good enough to meet the energy demands of Britain, and has delivered reasonable mitigation measures for the carbon that will be released. Although engineering consultants have a lot to offer individuals and companies on a small scale, coming up with the right sustainable technology to provide enough energy for the whole country is not so easy.
It is believed that setting achievable targets or getting projects off the ground that offer a better solution than what we have at present is better than doing nothing at all. It is hoped that engineering consultants can then buy themselves a little more time to improve the technologies that are in development at present.