The technology manufacturer Siemens has joined a network of local government leaders called UK100 which hope to unlock a sequence of clean energy projects worth $122.3bn (£100bn), and contribute to the UK’s goal to meet net-zero emissions and the Paris Climate goals.
The network will work with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to funnel financing from local authorities, private capital and government investment towards clean energy projects.
The partnership builds on the development of five Local Energy Hubs established by BEIS. Located in the North West; Yorkshire, Humber & the North East; Greater South East; Midlands; and the South West of England, these hubs help local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and support local authorities to undertake development of priority energy projects so they can secure finance.
Siemens Smart Infrastructure managing director Carl Ennis said: “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.”
A local authority survey by UK100 and an extrapolation of energy transition strategies by Siemens has estimated the existing $122.3bn clean energy projects pipeline, which could be rolled out with support from public and private sectors.
Siemens says that only a small share of these are at commercialisation stage as the remaining are at either conceptual or feasibility stages.
The company also highlighted that the execution of such projects can be hampered by convoluted and confusing procurement processes, as well as bureaucracy and slow decision-making. In respect to that, UK100’s survey showed that investors and local councils are calling for more support from central government by providing additional development capital.
Siemens business advisory Victor Sellwood says “The biggest obstacle for developing projects is a lack of funding, as this relies on a coherent and structured purpose for the Clean Energy project. Siemens will be working with the UK100 membership to scale-up energy opportunities in order to attract the maximum possible range of governmental funding and private investment sources.”
“Our recent works, for instance, on an Energy Strategy and Action Plan for South East England, showed that only by bringing projects together into combined portfolios to attract funding, can we hope to address the massive scale of necessary change to our infrastructure to meet our net-zero commitments,” said Sellwood.
Siemens’ announcement came as Bristol City Council launched a global search for a partner to deliver up to $1,2bn of investment to support its goal of becoming the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2030. The Bristol City Leap project in partnership with Bristol Energy will establish a joint venture with an organisation or group of organisations to support the delivery of its mission. The company will create smart energy propositions, such as local tariffs and innovative services to reduce carbon and peak power demand. More than 180 organisations have expressed interest in supporting the plans.
Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “It’s good to see the private sector investing significant resources into working with cities to drive emissions to zero. Bristol is already leading the way through the Bristol City Leap project and we look forward to working with Siemens and other partners in making Bristol a hub for the low carbon economy, creating new, clean energy jobs.”
To ensure an efficient and reliable power supply, Siemens offers a range of physical and digital products – modern compressors, turbines, generators and virtual power plants. With its technologies, Siemens is focused on closing the gaps in energy supply and making production, transmission, and distribution smarter.