140 delegates from businesses across the West Midlands and beyond joined the West Midlands Combined Authority on 27 November to focus on understanding how business can, with regional and national Government, play a critical role in accelerating the clean energy transition in the UK, maximising economic, social and environmental benefits for all.
The Energy Capital Conference created opportunities for delegates to discuss how to strengthen the role of regions in the UK energy system as well as hearing from experts from the US, Copenhagen and Norway.
Energy Capital is the policy and delivery body for energy in the West Midlands, reporting to the Mayor. It’s a public-private partnership established by the West Midlands Combined Authority, Black Country LEP, Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, and Coventry & Warwickshire LEP, and supported by industrial and third sector partners including Western Power Distribution, Cadent Gas, Climate KIC, the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick, BEIS, Ofgem and the Energy Systems Catapult.
Matthew Rhodes, Chair of Energy Capital said:
“This conference maintains the West Midlands’ position leading efforts in the UK to accelerate the transition to a clean, competitive energy system.
“We focused particularly on finance and initiatives to reduce fuel poverty and had excellent speakers from the US, Copenhagen and Norway. They showed how city regions and committed political leadership can make a real difference – for example in Connecticut, where their Green Bank has leveraged over $1 billion of private finance into local energy projects.
“The day generated many great ideas which we should be able to implement through our emerging Energy Innovation Zones and the partnerships the Combined Authority has already brokered through Energy Capital.
“It was an exciting day with a real buzz in the building.”
As part of the Conference, Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, presented the proposed Regional Energy Strategy outlining the West Midlands Energy Ambitions providing a framework and blueprint for discussions for the day.
In support of the event, Andy said:
“The energy sector is central to the West Midlands economy, as important in our ambition for the region as transport, housing and skills.
“This conference was an opportunity to discuss some of the exciting ideas lined up for the future in the West Midlands, including alternative fuels and reducing business energy costs.
“Energy Capital is a great partner to help us deliver this vision for our energy sector, and it was great to see so much of the sector represented at this conference, and in working together to create the proposed regional energy strategy.”
The proposed Strategy can be downloaded here.