07 Aug 2018

The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) in partnership with Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council have today released the findings from consultations with local private and public-sector organisations into current energy opportunities and barriers.

The Energy Challenge Paper is produced by Element Energy and Cambridge Econometrics following their commission to develop and deliver the Energy Infrastructure Strategy and Implementation Plan for the Leicester and Leicestershire area.

The paper is based on extensive research into current energy use and future energy scenario modelling to identify opportunities and barriers to the growth of the sector as well as key priorities and projects. It aims to encourage further engagement and raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities for the Leicester and Leicestershire energy system, and will inform the Energy Infrastructure Strategy and, in turn, the Local Industrial Strategy.

Low Carbon is one of the LLEP’s priority sectors for economic growth and the Energy Infrastructure Strategy will guide investment, ambition and opportunities for projects in the region. Clean growth will not only provide environmental benefits but is also an opportunity to drive economic growth, both locally and nationally.

Key priorities to the growth of the Low Carbon sector, as identified through engagement with local organisations, include reducing carbon emissions, attracting inward investment to energy projects and avoiding network constraints on development. Perceived barriers to the sector’s growth identified from the research include planning and grid constraints and the availability of land, whereas opportunities lie in the local expertise, resources, skills and infrastructure.

Local Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships have a growing role in managing carbon budgets and approaching decarbonisation to meet targets outlined on national and local levels. Leicester City Council aims reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the city by 50% by 2025, in line with the 2008 Climate Change Act – a legally-binding requirement for the UK to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.

The LLEP invites partners and stakeholders to respond with their comments on the Energy Challenge Paper – available here https://www.llep.org.uk/strategies-and-plans/energy-infrastructure-strategy/ – by emailing Marcin.Szymanski@LLEP.org.uk or Andy.Rose@LLEP.org.uk before 24th August.

Kevin Harris, LLEP Chair, said: “There has never been a more important time to discuss carbon budgets and look at implementing alternative resources. This paper  showcases the potential low carbon projects and opportunities the Leicestershire area has to offer. Local organisations have reflected the positive attitude of the region towards the energy challenge, and we look forward to seeing its development.”

Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke said: “The Energy Challenge paper released today is a great opportunity for all to input into the future of sustainable energy for the city and county, to work towards our commitments to a low carbon economy in the city.”

Cllr Blake Pain, Lead Member for Environment & Transport, said: “The Energy Challenge Paper provides an excellent opportunity to set the strategic direction for the area to enable it to meet both the challenges and opportunities of climate change, particularly in terms of how the low carbon sector is developed for the economic benefit of the LLEP area. It is vital that all sectors play a role in setting this strategic direction and in delivering for a better cleaner and greener future. This work will play an important part in supporting the delivery of Leicestershire County Council’s recently launched new Environment Strategy.”

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