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

Nathan-Sanders. Nathan Sanders Managing Director of SSE Distributed Energy (Energy Solutions)
By Nathan Sanders
21 September 2022

Distributed Energy

Meet our SSE Energy Solutions experts

Energy Capital Relaunch

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.

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.

Andy Street
Mayor of the West Midlands
Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands Combined Authority

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 to win 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.

Andy Street
Mayor of the West Midlands

The event was held on the day that the government announced a cap on wholesale energy bills for businesses for six months starting on 1 October. A new energy price guarantee had also already been revealed for UK households meaning they will pay no more than £2,500 a year on their energy bill for the next two years from 1st October.

Energy Capital was launched in 2016 by the 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.

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 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.

Nathan Sanders
Managing Director of SSE Energy Solutions, Distributed Energy

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.

Our vision is to create a net zero energy system that is fair and affordable to all. To do that, we need the right partners alongside us – providing the insights, information and powers to make sure that investment is made in the right way

Cheryl Hiles
Director of Energy Capital

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

We know we need to find solutions in the short-term to help our residents and businesses with energy costs, and the housing retrofit funding helps with that. But we can’t lose sight of the longer-term picture, or we’ll just keep facing these same problems. The Energy Capital partners are providing tremendous support to this mission and really establishing the region as a leader in this field

Cllr Ian Courts
Leader of Solihull Council and West Midlands Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Environment, Energy & HS2

About West Midlands Combined Authority Local Enterprise Partnerships

Birmingham WMCA Event

Led by the Mayor of the West Midlands, the WMCA brings together 18 local councils and three Local Enterprise Partnerships to oversee the transfer of powers and funding from Whitehall to the West Midlands.

The WMCA is putting these new powers from government back where they belong, in local hands, bringing the region together to build a healthier, happier, better connected and more prosperous West Midlands.

Billions of pounds are being invested by the WMCA to improve the region’s transport network, transform its derelict industrial land into new homes and workplaces, support existing businesses and help grow the innovative, green industries of the future.

At the heart of this vision is a strong economy that is both green and inclusive, one that supports the region’s ambition to be net zero carbon by 2041 and offers everyone the opportunity of a good quality, affordable home and the skills needed for a worthwhile job.