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NPL invites you to help shape better CO2 measurement

04 October 2012

A £150,000 prize will be launched later this year to overcome a lack of effective, usable carbon measurement and data - a major barrier to greenhouse gas reduction.

Ahead of the launch, Nesta, together with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Centre for Carbon Measurement at the National Physical Laboratory, is launching a survey, Carbon Data Uncertainties, to help identify the public's most pressing carbon data measurement concerns.

The Carbon Data challenge prize will seek to encourage progress towards CO2 reduction by finding the best advances in meaningful carbon measurement. The results of the online survey will help inform whether the challenge should focus on agriculture/crop production, reducing heat consumption, effective neighbourhood emissions measurement or shifting demand to off-peak energy use. The survey is live until 19 October.

Vicki Purewal, head of Nesta's Centre for Challenge Prizes, says the biggest uncertainties around carbon measurement are in the most complex sectors - for example biofuels, buildings, residency and energy efficiency. "We would like people to come forward and let us know which of these areas they feel needs the most urgent attention in terms of carbon measurement.

"Investors, policy makers and the public need better data about the carbon savings an action, technology or project is likely to have a in order to determine what to invest, set appropriate policies and calculate ongoing benefits. Much of the carbon market and information about the performance of low carbon technologies doesn't relate well to the real world; this is not the best basis for policy, investment, business or household decisions."

Once launched, the challenge prize will seek submissions for innovative ideas for technologies, processes and other interventions that will make data available and usable in ways that will have the most impact on carbon reduction.

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