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  Posted by: electime      28th May 2021

An investment blueprint has been developed which could see £1 billion spent on low carbon projects, in Cheshire and nearly 3 million tonnes of CO2 saved by 2030.

EA Technology is part of a consortium of companies, which has formed a partnership with the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to deliver the Invest Net Zero Cheshire roadmap. The roadmap has identified a portfolio of opportunities across renewable generation, hydrogen, carbon capture, energy storage and smart grids which offer long-term, sustainable investment opportunities in net zero.

Cheshire, in the North West of England, is one of UK’s power houses, featuring major manufacturing employers, including oil refining, glass manufacture, nuclear enrichment, chemical production and automotive. This concentration of industry means the area around Ellesmere Port consumes around 5% of the UK’s energy, with Cheshire West and Chester the fourth largest carbon emitter in the country and a climate emergency declared locally.

Following a study that lasted 10 months, involving more than 40 stakeholders and 150 hours of interviews, a net zero investment plan has been developed. This sets out immediately investable projects which will create jobs and inclusive growth in the area and deliver value to industry energy users and investors.

The findings of the study were presented at a recent webinar where Claire O’Neill, former UK Clean Growth Minister and MD World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Ikigai Capital Non Executive Director, delivered the keynote address: “Cheshire & Warrington are in a leadership position in the UK when it comes to decarbonisation and it’s great to see such first class thinking and impressive collaboration. It’s right that we should be moving away from conversations about government subsidies to discussions about how we can create the right funding structures to attract investment into local net zero projects. Invest Net Zero Cheshire could be a global exemplar of how to deliver investment into clean growth.”

Robert Davis, CEO at EA Technology commented: ‘Whilst much of our work is global, it is fantastic to be able to make a difference, literally on our doorstep. Companies in Cheshire have the opportunity and an obligation to make a substantial and positive impact on the UK’s Net Zero commitments – which could be replicated elsewhere. The investment plans that have been developed, following the results of the recent study demonstrate our unwavering commitment to meeting the targets set.”

The consortium comprises of technical advisors the Energy Systems Catapult (energy systems analysis), EA Technology (understanding future electricity network needs); Ikigai Capital (bankability and business case advisor); Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P (the owner and developer of Protos at the heart of the project zone) and SP Energy Networks (the local DNO), and was supported by many other local stakeholders.

The study involved understanding industrial energy users’ existing and future energy demands. From this a portfolio of projects was identified and shortlisted based on their potential to reduce carbon emissions. The consortium then engaged in a bankability review exercise to structure each solution for private sector-led funding. This joint technical/financial approach produced an investible roadmap for reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Ikigai Capital is now going to market to understand the appetite from potential investors to fund the pipeline of projects.

A summary of the study and its findings can be viewed here with further information on the portfolio of projects and business cases available at www.investnzcheshire.co.uk.