UK100, a network of UK local authorities focused on climate and clean energy policy, and Siemens UK have called on the government to pledge £5bn toward local energy in its upcoming stimulus package, stating it could unlock £100bn worth of schemes.
On 30 June, the pair published a summary of a forthcoming report into investment in local energy projects. Having analysed five regional energy hubs set up by the government in 2018, it found a pipeline of 183 projects valued at £850mn, though 90% are at an early stage of development and relatively small scale. Multi-billion-pound government support would grow the current pipeline more than 100 times, to reach that £100bn figure.
Broken down, it includes £40bn for energy efficiency, £30bn for low carbon heating, £10bn for renewables, £10bn for smart energy systems and £10bn for low emissions transport.
The most effective way of delivering government support would be through establishing a Net Zero Development Bank, the report said. Working in partnership with local authorities, the Bank would be a centre for excellence for developing, procuring and delivering net zero project investment, scale up investment opportunities to make them more attractive to institutional investors, and engage with regulators and central government to ensure necessary support for market development.
Carl Ennis, UK CEO of Siemens, said: “There is an urgent need to scale up local, sustainable, energy if the UK is to have any chance of meeting net zero by 2050. This requires a collective national effort with government, business and the public all playing our part. Local energy should be at the heart of the National Infrastructure Strategy creating a more consistent policy landscape that will give investors the confidence to invest earlier.”