UK oil and gas contractors and companies have been hit hard by plunging oil prices, climate change and the high cost of maintaining outdated UK North Sea installations. This has prompted several oil and gas companies to turn to fracking, which is the release of shale gas present within rocks using high pressure water jets and chemicals.
Fracking is extremely controversial as opponents of the technology claim it has serious environmental repercussions. However, the UK Government has approved fracking and has been issuing licences through county councils. Recently, North Yorkshire County Council issued the first licence for fracking in the UK for a region near Kirby Misperton.
While oil and gas contractors and companies are turning to fracking, there is a small company in Malton that believes in using a greener approach to creating energy from water.
MannPower Consulting has the distinction of pioneering the use of the Archimedes screw to create energy from water. Although it is an ancient technology, which involves spinning the screw manually or by wind power to lift water from low lying areas to higher ground, MannPower Consulting’s Dave Mann stated that if the process is reversed, it can efficiently create clean energy.
MannPower has installed Archimedes screws across various sites in the UK and Ireland. One such site is at Romney in Berkshire, where the project on the River Thames is responsible for providing renewable energy to Windsor Castle.
The technology has received approval from the Environment Agency as it is fish-friendly. Environment Agency Fisheries Technical Specialist Pat O’Brien stated that MannPower’s scheme at Linton Lock, which is between York and Harrogate, will help repair the old fish pass and also add a new one that will facilitate the upstream migration of fish.
Mann is now keen on using his expertise to help people in developing countries to meet their energy needs. As an oil exploration professional, he spent two years in Burma and wants to see the technology being used there. He will be presenting a paper at the Myanmar Green Energy Summit.