In this month’s regular blog we are focusing on the unique opportunity that the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire regions have when it comes to energy development and early preparation.
These regions have undoubtedly seen impressive growth in recent years and the headlines are often gleaming with projects that are shaping the future of energy. The Hydrogen Neighbourhood in Gateshead, for example, is demonstrating how hydrogen can be used as a clean replacement to natural gas for everyday heating, cooking and hot water. With two semi-detached homes set to open in April 2021, this project will champion the power of hydrogen and highlight its endless benefits in a way that is scalable and accessible.
The Redcar Energy Centre is another fine example. Designed to be a cornerstone project of the Teesworks site, this new energy plant will turn household and commercial waste into green fuel, to be sold into the export market as well as to power the plant itself – all while creating hundreds of local jobs.
Projects and initiatives such as these embody the huge opportunity for these regions, but the backbone that is the electricity network is crucial for them to succeed. Electricity supply must be efficient, accessible and extensive so that these projects can thrive and make their valued contributions to the shift to net zero.
To help stimulate more economy-boosting net zero activity Northern Powergrid is actively identifying further locations that will benefit from extra investment in the electricity network, ahead of time. As part of a national £300m Green Recovery Scheme to boost green growth and accelerate decarbonisation, this is designed to support projects to come to fruition faster. The scheme will unlock network investment ahead of time in order to support wider green economic activity and plan for future sustainable developments.
With a growing desire for regions to be given more power and access to information to allow them to come up with tailored climate policies, it is clear that acting early is beneficial and that we need greater collaboration to do so. Coming together and expanding the electricity network will enable better preparation, efficient planning and allow game-changing projects such as those mentioned earlier to flourish and thrive.
Northern Powergrid is ready to collaborate across these projects and seize the unique opportunities that our growing regions have to offer. If you are planning an activity or believe a region will particularly benefit from early investment, please answer the Green Recovery call for evidence before 19 March.
By Patrick Erwin, Policy and Markets Director