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Geological Aspects of Renewable Energy

Moving to a lower carbon energy system and, over time, displacing fossil fuels with renewable energy will involve new challenges for geologists.

In this talk we will explore these challenges. Below ground geothermal energy is an obvious example: High grade for converting to power, low grade for space heating and shallow for seasonal storage and heat pumping. Underground energy storage, for example hydrogen in salt caverns, may be a more effective and flexible solution than batteries to the challenges of matching renewables' intermittent supply with demand.

Less obviously the siting of renewable energy projects from hydro electric power or storage to wind farms, both onshore and offshore, is based fundamentally on conditions created by geology.

Last but not least, the new resources required to manufacture the energy conversion equipment needed to supply renewable energy on a global scale will place new demands across the periodic table for resources which already is beginning to constrain and shape the commercial solutions.


Bruce Levell


Bruce is a Geologist. He graduated from Oxford University with a D.Phil in Geology in 1978.

He has worked for Shell for 32 years in both operations and research. Operational assignments were in Malaysia, Houston, London, and Oman.
From 2003 to 2008 he was responsible for Global Exploration New Ventures investments in Shell.

In 2008 he was appointed Chief Scientist: Geology for Royal Dutch Shell.

In 2009 he was additionally appointed to his current post: Vice President of Emerging Technologies with responsibility for new technologies for both Upstream and Downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry as well as in the Future Energy domain.

In 2009 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Petroleum Group of the Geological Society of London.



geological aspects

Event Details

Date: 14 November 2012
Venue: The Geological Society, London
Speaker: Bruce Levell



Naomi Newbold
Tel: 020 7432 0981
[email protected]