About the webinar
Driven by the EU climate change agenda, the European Green Deal and a €17.5 billion Just Transition Fund, many countries across Central & Eastern Europe are now tackling the social, environmental and technological challenge of closing down coal-fired power plants and migrating to low carbon energy sources.
Britain’s reliance on coal for electricity has fallen from 70% in 1990 to less than 3% today. It was also the first country in the world to commit officially to phasing out its coal operations, by 2024. UK companies have been at the forefront of this process, developing and deploying technologies and solutions to support coal transition, including environmental and social impact assessment; coal methane management; and mine closure and mitigation.
This free DIT CEE webinar provided a great opportunity for coal mine operators, national coal authorities, and other participants in coal transition to hear from UK companies on how their experience and expertise can be applied to challenges in the region.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Tim Buisseret, DIT Country Director Bulgaria (email@example.com, +359 895 515568) or your local DIT contact.
Speaker profiles and presentations
Welcome and introduction
Tim Buisseret is the Bulgaria Country Director for the Department for International Trade, based at the British Embassy in Sofia. He has lived and worked in Bulgaria for twenty years, primarily in the telecoms sector, including several years as General Manager of Mobikom, the first mobile phone company. He understands well the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Bulgaria.
Overall management of post-mining heritage
Nick is the Head of Commercial Reports and Advisory Services for the Coal Authority. He leads a team who deliver mining reports and advisory services to the housing and development industries and works across both the public and private sector supporting projects on the coalfield and helping address mining legacy matters. Nick is a chartered planner and has experience across the development industry and local and national government. Within the Coal Authority, he also has experience of licensing, regulation, property and planning.
Mine water heat and heat storage in the UK
Dr Alison Monaghan is a principal geologist based at the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh. She currently leads the science delivery of UK Geoenergy Observatory in Glasgow, an underground laboratory focussing on shallow mine water geothermal and heat storage, environmental change and impact. An experienced project leader, she has worked with Government, commercial companies and academics on multidisciplinary projects with significant impact. She has a comprehensive knowledge of Carboniferous geology and geoenergy onshore Scotland and offshore UK.
Charlotte is the Commercial Manager for Mine Energy at The Coal Authority. She is a geologist/hydrogeologist by training her PhD (1999) focused on treating the polluted discharges flowing from historically abandoned lead-zinc mines. Latterly she worked on coal mine abandonment designing low-cost ways to treat mine water when it reaches the surface. Spending time above and below ground sparked her interest in the potential of using mine water for heat and she now works to promote the geothermal potential of abandoned mining infrastructure in the UK and beyond.
Environmental aspects of mine closure
Experienced environmental auditor since 1987. Auditing experience covers pre-acquisition, compliance regulatory and health and safety, and environmental financial liability assessments.
Simon has over 30 years of experience in integrated water management, site regeneration, demolition and decommissioning, soil and groundwater remediation, waste management, wastewater engineering and environmental engineering.
Simon has worked on a wide range of hydrological and hydrogeological assessments including catchment scale modelling, flood risk assessments and assessment of water availability/scarcity, social and environmental implications with respect to mining and oil and gas exploration and operation, optioneering assessments looking at water implications on design, closure and aftercare.
Simon has worked on site regeneration projects including the identification of re-use options for former industrial facilities, master planning/planning and environmental impact assessment work. Also the assessment of contamination impact and need for and cost of remediation within the context of redevelopment.
Simon has particular expertise in in-situ thermal focused solutions to provide rapid, cost effective and sustainable answers for the most complex site contamination problems and recalcitrant compounds, such as chlorinated solvents, PCBs, Pesticides and 1,4-dioxane.
Ferenc is a business development director at RSK responsible for developing the renewable energy services portfolio in the group. He works within the RSK’s European Business Development division, based in Hungary and covering mainly the Central Eastern European region.
He is an environmental engineer and holds and MSc in Renewable Energy with over 20 years of work experience. He has an authentic passion to pursue scaling of climate change solutions, the energy transition and global sustainability. He has been involved in advancing sustainable solutions and leading teams in Eastern Europe and in South East Asia on an operational and strategic level. Until 2019, he has been active with complex carbon and energy management initiatives within the aviation business and smart cities sphere. He was heading the sustainability work of Budapest Airport, including ISO 50001 and Airport Carbon Accreditation, noise zone designation, carbon offsetting and EIA for new developments.
Using coal shafts to store energy
An experienced commercial manager, Ruth has as an extensive background in consultancy and business analysis within the electricity sector in GB, specifically in innovation and transmission networks. She is responsible for the strategic management of business development activities for Gravitricity, primarily exploring future markets and developing partnerships to deliver projects. She switched into the electricity sector after having undertaken an MSc in Environmental Technology, specialised in Energy Policy, at Imperial College London. Before this, she was involved in the geological services sector.
UK coal site reclamation projects
I am an Environmental and Geological consultant with over 35 years of experience in the provision of environmental management and sustainability services to clients and projects across the UK, Europe and Africa.
This has included being the Project Manager for Environmental Assessments of Mine closure, reclamation and regeneration projects both in the UK and overseas. This covers the full range of associated issues including spoil heap safety assessment and reclamation, the decommissioning of existing facilities and the planning for future regeneration and sustainable development.
My involvement in the strategic development and implementation of mine closure planning has covered the range of ESG and ESMS issues necessary to give communities a sustainable future, by addressing the legacy and future environmental issues that arise from deep or opencast pit closure.This has also included delivering a wide range of ESIA’s and SEMP’s for international developments to criteria including IFC, World Bank and EITI standards.
I set up Ensure Environmental Consulting Ltd in 2016 as a cost-effective virtual consultancy to allow myself and senior colleagues to get back to practical hands-on environmental and social issue resolution, regeneration and land reclamation to deliver a sustainable future.