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project . 2011 - 2013 . Closed

Assessing the global and local impacts on ecosystem services of energy provision in the UK

UK Research and Innovation
Funder: UK Research and InnovationProject code: NE/J005932/1
Funded under: NERC Funder Contribution: 144,479 GBP
Status: Closed
30 Sep 2011 (Started) 29 Sep 2013 (Ended)

Energy provision in the UK impacts upon ecosystems locally, elsewhere in the UK and elsewhere in the world. For example, impacts of a coal-fired power-station may occur locally where the power station is sited, but also where the coal is mined (often outside the UK); nuclear power may have local terrestrial and marine impacts around the power station, but also has impacts from uranium mining and long term storage of spent fuel and contaminated items elsewhere; bioenergy has local impacts where grown, but may also displace other land uses, which may cause compensatory land use change elsewhere in the UK or elsewhere in the world: wind power may have both local and distant impacts around the land-based or offshore turbine field, and also has impacts associated with embedded products in the turbines and related infrastructure. The purpose of this project is to assess the local and global impacts on Ecosystem Services (ESs) from energy provision in the UK. We will use four energy technologies to develop a consistent methodology which could then be applied to other technologies. We will take a full life cycle approach to assess local and global ES impacts of coal, nuclear, wind (land-based and offshore - including Round 3 wind energy arrays) and bioenergy power in the UK. Global ES impacts occur when feedstocks and infrastructure are sourced from abroad and but also when the environmental impacts cover a wide geographic area e.g. fisheries, C storage, emission plumes. The tasks are interlinked. The project will be conducted in four WPs, largely relating to the objectives described above: WP1 identifies the location of where the impacts occur. WP2 identifies the impacts on ecosystem services in these locations as described in detail below. WP3 applies the methodologies and provides a synthesis of current impacts comparing across the technologies. WP4 extends the analysis to assess ES impacts for projections of potential UK future energy pathways (from UKERC 2050 and MARKAL).

Data Management Plans
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