The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) has today (30 November 2018) published its Energy Infrastructure Strategy in order that businesses in our region can be at the forefront of developments in low carbon infrastructure.
Low carbon technologies and the push to reduce carbon emissions are never far from the news, and over the coming decades, developments in low-carbon technologies will create thousands of jobs and necessitate large investment and changes in infrastructure.
The LLEP’s Energy Infrastructure Strategy aims to ensure that Leicester and Leicestershire is at the forefront of these changes. Though the projects identified are aspirations, by implementing this strategy our region could benefit hugely.
Low carbon energy is one of the LLEP’s priority sectors for economic growth. Some projects outlined in the strategy, such as installing public charging points for electric cars or pursuing a low-carbon public transport network, can be pursued in the short term. Transport accounts for 35% of all UK energy use and 25% of our carbon emissions. Others, such as building thousands of new energy-efficient homes, are long term ambitions. By building energy-efficient homes, and better insulating existing homes, households in Leicestershire could save up to £100m per year in energy bills.
Leicestershire is ideally located to reap the benefits of a low-carbon economy. By improving the energy infrastructure, the region can further bolster the booming logistics sector, and provide low-energy homes of the future to residents.
The opportunities for Leicestershire business in the low-carbon sector can’t be overstated. Leicestershire is home to two Enterprise Zones where some of the most innovative companies in the UK are based, currently working on new technologies to reduce carbon emissions and improve the environment and quality of life. With this new energy strategy in place, more low-carbon businesses will see Leicestershire as the place to invest and innovate.
Projects such as homebuilding are subject to central government policy. That is why the LLEP’s energy infrastructure strategy has sought – in certain areas – to tally with what others in the wider Local Enterprise Partnership network are proposing. The aim is to present a united front on low-carbon development to central government, with the hope of influencing future policy decisions and making it easier to build low-energy homes.
The projects proposed within the strategy document cover the whole of the LLEP economic region. They involve a wide range of sectors, including home building, transport, power generation and energy networks. The strategy accounts for local and national government policy and will feed into the development of the LLEP’s local industrial strategy.
Projects listed within the document are certainly not an exhaustive picture of the potential benefits of the low-carbon industry to our local economy. They’re also not the only ones that will be pursued by the LLEP; if the opportunity for investment presents itself, the LLEP will consider new projects on their own merits.
The next stage will be to bring partners together – including central government – to look at funding options to deliver the necessary changes. The key will be in identifying resources that can be channelled into upgrades in infrastructure. The LLEP’s strategy document is just the beginning of a collaborative journey towards carbon reduction and sustainable economic growth.
After wide consultation, with hundreds of organisations lending their input, Local businesses can be confident that their priorities have been considered in detail in this strategy, resulting in projects and targeted investment that will help local businesses to blossom in our new green economy.
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