North West Energy Hub expected to boost the delivery of clean energy projects
Liverpool City Region has been nominated to host a new North West Energy Hub, which will help consolidate the region’s strengths as a leading player in sustainable energy.
Endorsed by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Combined Authority Board, the Hub will provide expertise and resources to help local authorities and LEPs across the North West, prioritise and deliver local energy projects.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is considering funding the Hub as part of its Local Energy programme, which was announced in the Clean Growth Strategy last October. The Hub will cover the five LEP areas in the North West (Cheshire & Warrington; Cumbria; Lancashire; Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region) who will work together to coordinate local action to support the energy agenda.
Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, said:
“This is great news for the Liverpool City Region and will enable us to further consolidate our reputation as one of the UK’s leading regions for sustainable energy.
“We are already home to a hugely important low-carbon cluster, with 1400 companies, employing 23,000 people and contributing £2bn to the city region economy. And through projects such as harnessing the power of the River Mersey, we will build on that in the years to come.
“Clean, low carbon energy production is the key to the future economic prosperity of our city region. Combining predictable and plentiful renewable energy with world-class digital connectivity will give us a unique competitive edge as a global investment destination.”
Welcoming the North West Energy Hub, Liverpool City Region LEP Chair Asif Hamid MBE, said:
“This is not just fantastic news for the City Region but also for the wider North West. For us, the opportunity to host the North West Local Energy Hub in the City Region is a chance to show national and regional leadership in the energy agenda that has been identified as a key priority of the City Region, for the LEP, Metro Mayor and the Northern Powerhouse.
“Importantly, the creation of a Local Energy Hub will also enable us to identify projects suitable for low carbon investment aligned with our city region strategic ambitions which, in turn, can enable our local economy to seize opportunities and implement projects that will deliver investment, jobs and local growth.”
Halton Council Leader Cllr Rob Polhill, portfolio lead for Energy and Renewables for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said:
“The proposed investment from BEIS, matched with resources from our North West LEPs, is a great boost which will enhance our ability to plan, develop and deliver energy projects. These projects will reduce fuel poverty, lower carbon emissions and improve business competitiveness across the city region.”
Mark Knowles, Head of Low Carbon Economy for the Liverpool City Region LEP said:
“The Energy Hub will be a great vote of confidence from BEIS and our North West partners in our collaborative approach and focus on delivering sustainable energy projects.
“All our partners have developed energy projects in recent years in areas such as solar, district heating, building efficiency and offshore wind. Our LEPs have been successful in developing local supply chains and upskilling to support this investment. New opportunities are opening up from technologies such as energy storage, smart systems and tidal energy. The Hub will enhance our ability to maximise the economic benefits from these low carbon opportunities.”
The Local Energy Hub is expected to commence in April 2018. The appointment of the Liverpool City Region LEP as lead for the Local Energy Hub and associated funding are subject to Government approval.