2018 is already one week old, which means the Year of Resources is underway! Throughout the year, we’re exploring the sustainable extraction and use of natural resources through research conferences, lectures, our education programme and other activities.
Geology underpins the provision of most natural resources. Locating and extracting raw materials for industrial and consumer products and processes, and fossil fuels for energy, are also major contributors to the economy. New technologies are increasing demand for critical mineral resources such as Rare Earth Elements. There are competing pressures on mineral, water and energy resources. Reduced or changed patterns of supply and greater awareness of environmental impacts including climate change can lead to debate and even conflicts over allocation, with implications for economies and for society.
Challenges lead to opportunities and to innovation. The need to reconcile energy security, sustainability and affordability has stimulated interest in unconventional fossil fuels, nuclear power, carbon capture and storage and renewable energy. Understanding hydrogeology and groundwater contamination is essential to planning for our future water needs, including with regard to the energy sector. Research around mineral resources encompasses innovation in exploration, extraction and processing, as we seek improved efficiency and environmentally neutral processes, but is also increasingly framed by academic studies of global geochemical element cycling and behaviour.
The Year of Resources is an opportunity to showcase academic and applied research focusing on geological resources, including energy, minerals and water. Events throughout the year will involve academia and industry, economists and social scientists, and government bodies charged with securing the UK’s resources base, as well as partner societies and organisations. We welcome proposals for meetings and activities aimed at a range of audiences to address both the promises and the threats posed by our use of Earth’s resources.
To find out more about what’s coming up in the Year of Resources, visit our website.