‘Place-based’ carbon reduction measures in UK cities and towns will lead to far better results in the net zero transition and could generate up to £108 billion in energy savings.
That’s according to a new study by Innovate UK and PwC, which also claims this approach will be cheaper to a national ‘one size fits all’ approach.
The study compared different cities and regions’ needs in transitioning to a cleaner future and found that strategies based on a locality’s characteristics were far easier to implement and wasted far less time and money.
The researchers claim this approach leads to almost double the energy savings of a nation-based shift. The report states that a ‘place-based’ method would require £58 billion of investment to meet targets set for the next 30 years, whereas a wider process would cost £195 billion.
Examples provided in the report include prioritising building stock measures for cities with mainly Victorian housing or more focus on active or public transport for areas with high levels of air pollution from traffic.
It calls for a revised governance model to ensure this method can be achieved and for central government to delegate clearer plans to local governments for successful net zero deliveries across localities.
Lord Callanan, Minister for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility, was inspired by the report, stating: “Today’s research provides some useful insights into how national and local government can work together to achieve net zero.
“I know that this novel research will not only be of interest to policymakers but to planners, businesses, communities, and to investors.”
Director of Policy and Research at the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) added: “The ADE has long argued that decentralised, place-based approaches offer the most effective and affordable path to net zero – and this new report proves just that, using the government’s own Green Book approach to assessing policies, programmes and projects.
“All that remains is for the government to create a clear policy landscape and drive investment to start deploying decentralised energy technologies at scale with immediate effect.”