West Midlands Combined Authority Energy Capital relaunch

New approach to help energy crisis at forefront of Energy Capital event

Big Zero Report 2023

Image: Energy Capital

SSE Energy Solutions is delighted to announce that it has collaborated with Energy Capital, a smart energy partnership established by West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The initiative aims to make the West Midlands one of the most attractive locations to develop and deliver innovative clean energy systems and associated businesses in the world.

As a clean energy champion, SSE sees this as an extremely important collaboration and is excited by the opportunities it will generate as we take ambitious strides towards net zero.

Earlier this year, WMCA declared the West Midlands as the country’s first Net Zero Pathfinder region, leading the way in understanding the institutional governance necessary to enable smart local energy systems to thrive, with learning being shared with Government and other authorities.

SSE is investing £7 million a day into low carbon infrastructure as part of its £25 billion Net Zero Acceleration Programme until 2030.

When SSE Energy Solutions met with Energy Capital at the Decarbonisation Summit in June of this year, they immediately discovered a shared agenda to deliver real-world action that would move forward the UK’s net zero ambitions with real pace.

Nathan Sanders, Managing Director of Distributed Energy, SSE Energy Solutions, said:

“SSE Energy Solutions is proud to support the re-launch of Energy Capital as we begin collaborating with the partnership. As champions of UK clean energy, SSE and Energy Capital share the ambition of enabling the transitions we need to achieve the UK and Ireland’s net zero targets by 2050.

“SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Plan will see us invest £7m each and every day until 2030 on low carbon infrastructure to provide the backbone for decarbonisation through energy, and that investment will benefit regions such as the West Midlands, who are leading the way in setting out a clear path for tangible change.

“We pride ourselves on our whole systems approach which combines energy solutions to deliver the decarbonisation of

energy, heat and transport and look forward to working with Energy Capital partners to accelerate the transition to net zero.”

On 21 September, business leaders and energy experts from across the West Midlands came together to discuss how a new energy model could help to tackle some of the biggest energy challenges.

The event, sponsored by SSE Energy Solutions, showcased Energy Capital’s mission to implement a place-based approach, meaning the challenges for energy are dealt with on a local level so that regions can handle their own energy supply to keep future energy bills low for their residents and businesses.

This approach would also look to support green growth and broaden partnerships with the local businesses.

Energy Capital was launched in 2016 by Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, to establish new models of regional energy governance and delivery and bring together both local government and industry leaders.

Andy Street said:

“Getting energy right will help us to reduce bills for consumers, create new green jobs, and decarbonise our local homes and industries. As we work together to tackle the climate emergency and meet our #WM2041 net zero commitment, we also need to encourage a more domestic and more sustainable energy supply so that we reduce our reliance on provision from overseas. Energy excellence will help to ensure the West Midlands leads the coming Green Industrial Revolution.

“Recent geopolitical events abroad and cost of living pressures here at home have underlined the critical importance of our energy sector. Alongside the substantial and immediate support from central government that our local residents and businesses are understandably calling for, we must take the right medium- and long-term steps in order to place our region on much surer footing for the future.

“That’s why it’s very good news that – in Energy Capital – we have a dedicated regional convening entity drawing together the relevant experts and stakeholders, influencing the national agenda, and working alongside key industry players in order to identify the steps we need to take to enable a clean energy future that is more cost effective and energy efficient for our residents and businesses.

“The £50m Energy Capital has already helped our region and will support local authorities and housing associations to retrofit our region’s historically energy inefficient housing stock in the coming weeks and months. I’m pleased to welcome SSE as an organisation to the Energy Capital family and thank them for their sponsorship of this important relaunch event.”

The event also saw the relaunch of Energy Capital’s partnership that combines energy providers like National Grid and Cadent Gas, with businesses, local authorities, housing associations, universities and representatives of central government and its agencies.

As well as supporting the work to tackle fuel poverty and climate change, the programmes being led by Energy Capital will also help build a thriving market for clean tech innovation leading to new business and job growth.

Since declaring a climate emergency in June 2019, the West Midlands has been focused on developing and delivering a clear action plan.

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