With the world in the grip of an energy crisis, the LEP saw the need to take action to improve this region’s energy security but also work towards the nation’s Net Zero targets.
We launched a £4million call for capital energy projects and received enquiries from 29 separate projects.
The go ahead has now been given to three schemes which all meet key elements of the Marches Energy Strategy in helping businesses reduce energy consumption and their carbon emissions and promoting the growth of renewable energy across the region.
The schemes are:
- The Marches Energy Grant: A new funding pot of £1.575million towards a £5.2million project cost to help companies reduce their energy use, driving down waste and cutting carbon emissions. The scheme will be open to businesses across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin and build on the success of the Business Energy Efficiency programme (BEEP).
- Marches Network Monitoring to support Community Decarbonisation: A project delivered by the National Grid and EA Technology to install monitors at 250 substations across the Marches which help make the most efficient use of the energy available and so boost capacity. The project is receiving £654,000 towards the total cost of over £1million.
- Herefordshire Low Carbon Technology Centre: The scheme, to be delivered by Herefordshire, Ludlow and North Shropshire College, will develop industry-leading new training in green skills and has been awarded £1.2million towards the £1.5million cost of the new facilities. The scheme will see much needed green skills training delivered over a number of years helping to increase the adoption of low carbon technology.
The Integrated Wetlands project in Herefordshire – in which the LEP invested £1million from the Getting Building Fund – is a truly innovative way of cleaning up rivers in the Lugg and Wye catchment areas, removing harmful phosphates and helping develop the world’s first phosphate credit scheme. This will allow sympathetic development in the area, preserving the environment and unlocking new growth opportunities.
The LEP already plays a leading role in driving the switch to renewable energy and cutting emissions through its support for a range of programmes, including BEEP and the Marches Renewable Energy Grant Scheme (MarRe).
The MarRe scheme – which awarded close to £1million in grants and closed this year – supported the installation of over 2.3 megawatts of new renewable energy generation capacity and an annual decrease of 563 tonnes of carbon dioxide during a two-year period.
The original BEEP scheme saw some £5million of energy savings recommended to 780 businesses across the Marches and Worcestershire, saving 18,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Tim Yair, our regional senior energy projects officer, and LEP energy champion Gordon Coppock lead the way on promoting environmental responsibility across our business sector and ensuring that the Marches is at the forefront of the green revolution and the new jobs it is creating.
Earlier this year figures showed The Marches is a national leader in an innovative way of producing sustainable electricity from animal and food waste, with Shropshire the top-ranked local authority in the UK for generating power through Anaerobic Digestion (AD), with Herefordshire only just behind. There are currently more than 60 sites across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin generating 176GWh of electricity from AD every year.