Sustainable energy plan launched for Marches
The new energy champion for the Marches has pledged to help develop innovative solutions to create a sustainable power network for the region which helps drive growth.
Energy expert Tim Yair says the region must overcome shortcomings with the National Grid electrical supply, cut carbon emissions, increase renewable energy sources and cut fuel poverty over the next decade.
Mr Yair, the Midlands Energy Hub’s senior energy projects officer for the region, was speaking at the launch of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership’s new 10-year energy strategy at a low carbon conference in Ludlow.
The Marches LEP’s strategy calls for the creation of more than 1,000 new low-carbon jobs, half of the region’s electricity to be produced by renewable sources by 2030, a national pilot scheme to be developed for overcoming disruption to the National Grid and fuel poverty to be cut to below ten per cent.
“The constraints caused by the grid are one of our biggest problems,” Mr Yair told the conference. “We simply do not have enough sub stations into which we can add power to help raise capacity, or take it from to redistribute it without overloading the grid.”
Mr Yair said the region was a national leader in the use and development of anaerobic digesters – which convert animal and farm waste to power – but could still do more.
The Government had set a target for the region to reduce carbon emissions by 57 per cent from 1990 levels – though that could now change with the appointment of a new Prime Minister – and fuel poverty which currently stands at around 15% should be reduced to below 10 per cent, he said.
“My role is to work with the Marches LEP, its local authority partners and business and the community to support the delivery of the strategy and meet these targets.
“My goal is to work together to produce a pipeline of projects which do that and against which we will be held accountable.”
Marches LEP chairman Graham Wynn said ensuring a sustainable, robust energy supply for the region for the next decade was vital.
“This is a key issue for us. Businesses have told us that energy supply shortages and lack of capacity must be addressed and we are certain the targets set out in our strategy will make a positive difference not just to business but to all our communities.”
The strategy says that by 2030 The Marches area should have an energy generation and supply system which is flexible and reliable, delivering energy that is low carbon and low cost to businesses and communities.
The Ludlow conference, held at the town’s racecourse, also included a workshop to help develop the Marches LEP’s new Local Industrial Strategy.
Marches LEP Partnership Manager Kathryn Jones said the strategy would showcase the region’s areas of excellence to the Government and ‘fly the flag for what we are really good at’