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Empowering Manchester – The British Energy Challenge

The free event, jointly organised by The Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Carbon Trust, focused on the role that energy plays in all of our lives through its impact on the economy, the environment and our household bills.

Information and interactive demonstrations from local and national exhibitors helped visitors to question whether they could be doing more to reduce their energy consumption and save money, consider how the UK energy system could change for the better, and also provide them with an insight into the innovation, growth and job market of this dynamic sector.

From Dwelle’s model of a zero-carbon house to the SSE’s latest electrical vehicles; Siemens’ model of a marine current turbine to the University of Manchester’s nuclear reaction simulation, the event proved popular with visitors looking to explore energy issues in a fun and hands-on way. CycleWorks’ smoothie bike and the Centre for Sustainable Energy’s model of an eco town, ‘PlanLoCal’, also captured the interest of the crowds.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, and DECC’s Chief Scientific Advisor, David MacKay, opened the exhibition, My Climate & Me [link to] revealed their competition, inviting individuals to ask questions related to climate change. Sir Richard Leese’s question, ‘What real evidence is there that we are having more extreme weather events around the globe?’  was filmed by My Climate & Me and uploaded to the site. The public is encouraged to vote for the best questions on the site, with a climate scientist from the Met Office or a leading university responding to the winning question in a reciprocal video message uploaded to the site.

The ‘British Energy Challenge’ exhibition was held as part of a roadshow touring the UK throughout the summer and autumn.