Birmingham Energy Strategy – Evidence Base
Date of the report
November 2010 (Page updated August 2014)
Author of the report
Sustainability West Midlands – on behalf of the project team of Encraft, Element Energy, Energy Saving Trust, Worcestershire County Council, Birmingham City Council.
Purpose of the report
To provide the evidence base to develop Birmingham’s first energy strategy. This is also of use to other cities producing similar strategies as the expert advice on scenarios, priorities, and review of global good practice is very transferable.
In 2010 SWM secured funding from Birmingham Environment Partnership and several of our members to produce the evidence base and draft issues and options to help Birmingham City Council produce its first energy strategy. It was hoped that this framework would provide a more strategic approach to the current scattering of different initiatives and pilot projects across the city.
Our associate Matthew Rhodes helped manage the consortium of our project team and partners. The outputs included workshops and engagement with over 200 local and national stakeholders, expert advice and testing on different energy scenarios, lessons from global good practice, and the gathering of existing datasets to produce a common evidence base. The resulting outputs included an issues and options paper with recommendations on how to turn this into an energy strategy and action plan.
National and international stakeholders, who had been involved in similar approaches in other cities, were impressed by SWM’s ability to gather together an expert project team and stakeholders in a short time scale and limited budget to produce an innovative, focused and supported process to produce the quality outputs required for an energy strategy.
The final strategy was never published due to other council priorities and the lack of a corporate champion to drive the required strategy and cross-functional commitments. However many of the suggested actions were taken forward by SWM members such as the extension of the District Heating Scheme, the launch of Birmingham Energy Savers Housing Retrofit Scheme, and the expansion of low carbon transport options such as the tram, electric car charging, and cycling and walking. In 2014 the Birmingham Green Commission is seeking to build on this former research and action to help provide a more strategic framework for coordinating and influencing energy action in the city.
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