Members of the EcoVannin Government workstream had the opportunity to find out what’s happening across the water during a recent visit by Mark Knowles, Head of Low Carbon for Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The LEP supports the wide scale adoption of sustainable energy technologies across the Liverpool City Region and has produced a Sustainable Energy Action Plan to provide a baseline survey of sustainable energy activities and opportunities. Resources and funding are not being sought for a number of priority projects.
Given its coastal location Liverpool City Centre has been designated a Centre for Offshore Renewable Engineering and sees huge potential in the low carbon and renewable sector. Liverpool Bay and the surrounding Irish Sea area already hosts one of the largest concentrations of offshore wind turbines in the world and is anticipating 918MW of new turbines for Burbo Bank and Walney including the world’s first deployment of MHIV 8MW turbine. A fully-scoped 700MW tidal energy project for the Mersey is also ready to move forward to investment stage.
The move to renewables and alternative energy is so great that Liverpool docks has already received its last ever shipment of coal. At a local level, Liverpool is actively exploring hydrogen as a fuel – hydrogen is a readily available by-product from the nearby petro-chemical works and is already used for fuel in some large-scale buildings. There is the possibility of rolling this out further to smaller scale buildings and homes, as well as piping it to garages as a fuel for vehicles.
Liverpool is also pioneering the concept of Community Energy. This involves developing projects at a local level to install and generate power to service local needs. The idea is to bring together energy experts with local investors and land or building owners to identify and implement initiatives that bring financial, environmental and social benefits for communities.
Projects range from energy efficiency and insulation of community buildings – and Liverpool is undertaking the largest social housing retrofit programme in the UK - through to using community buildings and land holdings to host renewable energy systems such as wind turbines or solar panels.
In all it is estimated the Low Carbon sector contributes over £2bn to Liverpool City Region’s economy employing over 22,000 people in 1,400 companies. You can find out more at www.liverpoollep.org/core-sectors/low-carbon/
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