Councillor Dan Perry talks sustainable energy at Jesmond Library


On October 27th, North Jesmond councillor Dan Perry presented a talk at Jesmond Library addressing the question “Is Sustainable energy an achievable goal?”.

The library, which holds educational talks every Thursday, was filled with around 30 visitors for the occasion. The numbers included Jesmond residents and local students who were seeking to learn more about the implications of sustainable energy and the ways in which to make energy efficient home changes.

Cllr Perry, who recently undertook a degree in Mechanical Engineering, has been working with ALSTOM, a company operating within the rail transport and power generation market.

He admitted that whilst, in the past, he had worked with non-renewables, he is now focused on a new emissions project which had given him the desire to deliver the presentation on Thursday. His main concerns regarding sustainable energy were “Is it economically sustainable?” and “Will civilisation ultimately be sustainable?”.

International target energy reduction plans, including the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris agreement, which goes into action on November 4th, were discussed. It was widely agreed that energy consumption was by far the most important point for these plans, both nationally and locally.

The talk informed visitors specifically of the KERS system – a kinetic energy recovery system which is currently being used in buses in more southern areas of the UK.

Perry claimed that “we are finally catching up a little bit in the north east” as we slowly begin to see these initiatives brought up north.

“We should be getting new Metro trains in the region too at some point which should be much lighter and much more energy efficient, using things such as the KERS system,” he added.

The talk also addressed issues surrounding Hartlepool Power Station, a Europe supergrid, through which we can connect energy with Europe, and the different natural energy sources which are widely available to us in the UK, and more specifically in the north east.

But Cllr Perry also brought these sustainable energy issues to a much more individual and local level saying that “realistically we need to do whatever we can as individuals”, and adding that “we’ve all got to start [making energy efficient changes] otherwise it’s going to be so much worse.”

“People who use the Great North Road, for example, have a variety of ways to travel. They could take the Metro but they’d rather sit and pump away fumes from their cars,” he noted.