Information, information, information

A trinity of websites that provide information about the latest greenhouse gas reducing technologies, and display demonstration projects as proof, have been given a facelift by operating agent, Future Energy Solutions (FES).
IEM talked to Richard Shock, project director at FES, about mitigating greenhouse gas emissions over the world wide web.

Instant access to information about environmental technologies and suppliers

from around the world seems too good to be true. Picture it: click, type in

technology, click click, enter sector, search. Result: technical and other information,

demonstration projects, contact details and discussion groups – a veritable

information goldmine right under your fingertips.

The GREENTIE (Green-house Gas Technology Information Exchange) and CADDET (Centres

for the Analysis and Dissemination of Demonstrated Energy Technologies) programmes

are operated by Future Energy Solutions (FES), part of AEA Technology Environment;

FES was chosen last year for this role from an international tender process.

EETIC operates under the collaborative programme of the International Energy

Agency (IEA).

CADDET comprises two centres, one for Renewable Energy (

and one for Energy Efficiency ( Together with GREENTIE (

they nobly aim to provide free information on environmental technologies and

their suppliers. The websites have been available for some time but recently

FES has rebuilt them to make them more user-friendly and more useful with new

features such as multi-lingual pages.

But first, some background. The IEA was set up in the early 1970s in response

to the oil supply crisis. One of its first steps was to establish a collaborative

research and development and information programme among its member countries

to reduce dependence on imported oil. All members of the IEA had to be members

of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Under

the collaborative programme, IEA countries pool their resources and share the

results of their work though over 40 Implementing Agreements. Participation

by countries is self-funded and voluntary on an ‘Agreement by Agreement’ basis.

EETIC runs under one of these Agreements – 12 IEA countries and the EC participate.

CADDET – Energy Efficiency, is the oldest of the three programmes, set up in

1988, with CADDET – Renewable Energy (RE) following it in 1993. They exchange,

analyse and disseminate information related to energy efficiency and renewable


Demonstration projects

Dr Richard Shock, FES project director for all three programmes, explains, “CADDET

is based on a store of demonstration projects relating to energy efficiency

and renewable energy – information which is often available within national

boundaries but rarely outside them. CADDET, however, aims at trans-national

dissemination – if there’s a technology that’s been tested and proven in Australia,

Denmark or Sweden, why shouldn’t potential users in the UK find out about it?

“On the other hand, CADDET can provide a shop window for technologies

demonstrated in the UK. While the information is invaluable to decision-makers

it clearly has wider relevance as countries signed up to the Kyoto Protocol

develop their strategies for meeting their targets, either nationally, or through

the Flexible Mechanisms.”

Information on suitable projects is supplied by National Teams in the participating

countries to the CADDET Centre at FES. “One of our strengths is that we

are an independent organisation providing objective information about new technologies,”

says Shock, “While the websites are acting like a shop window with people

looking at a project, it is about marketing technologies not products.

“The technical and financial performance of each project is tested at

full scale and verified by experts. For example, there’s a new technology that’s

come in from the Australian National Team recently which deals with leaks in

compressed air systems. This project was sent to us and the details forwarded

to FES technical specialists in that field with the expertise to spot invalid

data or unbelievable claims.

“If the project passes this test, then it joins the database known as

the InfoStore. Currently we have about 1,500 energy efficiency demonstration

projects and 500 renewable energy projects on file.”

Mike Landy, FES CADDET project manager says, “CADDET also ensures that

the information is up-to-date. National Teams are encouraged to revise details

or to remove old entries, especially when technologies, which were once the

latest thing being demonstrated, are themselves overtaken by development.”

Developing countries

GREENTIE on the other hand has a different focus. Set up to address an information

vacuum in developing countries, it has at its heart a database of suppliers

of technologies and services that are specifically aimed at reducing greenhouse

gas emissions. In contrast to CADDET, it focuses on organisation’s details,

each company a card entry on a virtual, web-based rollerdeck.

GREENTIE Liaison Offices (GLOs) in participating OECD countries disseminate

information about GREENTIE and encourage organisations in their countries to

submit their details, which are then entered into the directory database. Of

the 6,500 entries, the UK has contributed about 1,200.

Mike Gettings, FES GREENTIE project manager, also promises in the not too distant

future a web page giving guidance to project financing and a facility to act

as a ‘marriage broker’ between suppliers and users of technology.

GREENTIE’s latest coup has been to build on the success of its Regional Partners

by developing a link with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). While

many of the GLOs from developing countries are full of enthusiasm, they often

receive little financial support for their operations, limiting the amount of

activity they can undertake. UNEP is establishing the Sustainable Alternatives

Network (SANet) to foster investment in sustainable solutions and bring local

support to deliver the services and augment the work of the GLOs.

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