Local government leaders and Siemens to develop green energy infrastructure

UK100, the network of mayors and council leaders, will team up with Siemens to try and bring forward green energy projects worth over £100bn.

Siemens has signed a partnership agreement with UK100 to work with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and bring together financing from local authorities, private capital and government investment to create clean energy projects at ‘significant’ commercial scale.

The partnership builds on the development of five Local Energy Hubs which are being established by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Located in the North West; Yorkshire, Humber & the North East; Greater South East; Midlands; and the South West, these Hubs provide practical support and expertise to LEPs and local authorities to help them undertake the development for priority energy projects, up to the point where they are able to secure finance.

A survey of local authorities by UK100 and Siemens suggested that there is a pipeline of over £100bn clean energy projects which could be rolled out with support from both public and private sector participants.

However, only a small proportion of these are at the point of commercialisation, with the remaining at either conceptual or feasibility stages.

Respondents to the survey said that developing projects at scale can be hampered by ‘convoluted and confusing’ procurement processes, as well as bureaucracy and slow decision-making.

UK100’s survey also showed that both investors and local councils are calling for more support from central government by providing additional development capital, a single gateway to apply for support as well as support in developing a business case for clean energy projects.

Polly Billington, director of UK100 said: ‘Siemens commitment to this partnership is a sign that the private sector is taking local energy schemes seriously and can help local government to play its part in meeting our ambition of net-zero emissions.

Carl Ennis, managing director, Siemens Smart Infrastructure, added: ‘Local government is in a strong position to help the UK shift to 100% clean energy.

‘We will work with Local Energy Hubs to develop clean energy action plans which will make credible business cases to attract investors and make sure that these plans have support from local communities.’

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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