Sustainable Energy Use
Meeting the energy demand of today and tomorrow, without compromising environment outcomes
Why this theme?
Transitioning our energy system from fossil fuels to renewables is a mammoth task, but a necessary one to ensure our security of supply and to reduce carbon emissions by the amount required to meet Net Zero. Without this transition, our efforts to mitigate against climate change will be futile, at best.
It is, therefore, crucial that we encourage and nurture this transition by bringing together the myriad of policymakers, researchers and businesses who operate in the energy sector. The West Midlands has a cluster of experts in the field of renewable energy and more innovative approaches to the transition, including batteries, hydrogen and smart systems. We now need this expertise to begin translating into a more stable, secure and affordable supply for businesses and residents, something that we are beginning to see. The energy crisis of 2022 must be a wake up call to ensure the acceleration of the clean energy revolution.
Target: By 2030 achieve a 79% increase in the amount of energy generated by renewables from 2019 levels
Following our thorough literature review of national strategies such as the Clean Growth Strategy to ensure alignment with national ambition, and stakeholder engagement process, SWM has developed this target based on National Grid’s future energy scenarios planning and aligned to the UK’s overall target of net zero carbon by 2050. However, it has since transpired
that the data that is available to monitor renewable energy generation, compiled by BEIS, does not allow for this target to be adequately monitored. The reason for this is that the data compiled by BEIS only focuses on renewable electricity data, rather than all energy, including heat. Therefore, the target in place cannot be monitored at present. The dataset shows we are heading in the right direction when it comes to renewable electricity generation, but at present an accurate picture cannot be achieved.
We are working with our Board members National Grid and other local partners including Energy Capital and Western Power Distribution to try and obtain a dataset that allows us to monitor this metric, or, to change the target to focus purely on electricity if monitoring heat is not possible.
Current progress on this target (2021) – unknown.
What our Members are doing
Bryt Energy is on a mission to take British businesses on a carbon-reducing journey with zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity from wind, solar and hydro. Along with on-site generation, battery storage and optimisation controls, Bryt Energy help businesses to reduce energy consumption and costs for businesses as well as improve their sustainability. They lead by example and have contributed to many of SWM’s activities since joining as members. They are representing the range of clean energy-focused businesses in the West Midlands, by being based in central Birmingham.
Energy Systems Catapult was set up to accelerate the transformation of the UK’s energy system and ensure UK businesses and consumers capture the opportunities of clean growth. The Catapult is an independent, not-for-profit centre of excellence that bridges the gap between industry, government, academia and research. They take a whole-systems view of the energy sector, helping to identify and address innovation priorities and market barriers, in order to decarbonise the energy system at the lowest cost. Their main mission: to unleash innovation and open new markets to capture the clean growth opportunity. They also recognise the West Midlands as being a beneficial place to base themselves and they have been located here since their formation. Some of their work with us can be found here.