Bristol City Council has launched an international search for potential partners to help reach the city’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
Courtesy of Bristol City Council
The council is looking to attract up to £1 billion investment in Bristol’s energy infrastructure over the next decade. A new prospectus, known as City Leap, has been released outlining a series of energy and infrastructure investment opportunities available to local, national and international businesses. The prospectus is designed to test the market and lays out big ambitions and opportunities, building on the work and innovative pilot schemes already taking place in the city.
“Bristol is already internationally recognised as a leading energy city, but now we’re looking to take things to the next level and we need partners to join us on this journey” said Cllr Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Energy and Waste. “City Leap sets out a diverse range of opportunities which could be available for businesses and will allow us to explore possibilities which wouldn’t be open to us working alone. We want to use our role as local government to act as a catalyst for change. In return for partnering with us, businesses would get a chance to shape the future of the city’s energy system and unlock opportunities to gain a return on their initial investment.”
Ian Townsend, Chief Executive of Bristol Green Capital Partnership, added that City Leap is an important initiative to ensure that Bristol stays on track to meet its carbon neutral 2050 target while also solving the city’s energy, environmental and other challenges.
The largest investment opportunities are in the areas of heat networks (£300 million) and domestic energy efficiency (£300m). Over the next decade the council hopes to expand the city’s existing heat network and facilitate the development of a large-scale heat network from Avonmouth to Severnside. Domestic energy efficiency work will focus on addressing fuel poverty and enabling households to insulate their properties to reduce the costs of heating their homes.
Collaborations are also sought on a smart energy system, which could include development of a ‘Bristol Battery’ to link in with local and national energy transmission networks, as well as projects focused on commercial energy efficiency and renewable energy. There are also opportunities for businesses which specialise in monitoring and evaluation of projects.
The council is joining forces with a wide range of partners from across the city, including University of Bristol, University of the West of England (UWE), Western Power Distribution, Bristol is Open, Invest Bristol and Bath, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and Bristol Energy.
Since 2005, Bristol City Council has delivered a wide programme of energy efficiency and investment initiatives, investing tens of millions of pounds in renewable energy generation and energy efficiency and meeting the 2020 corporate carbon reduction target three years early.
The City Leap prospectus is just a starting point and the council is also welcoming new ideas to help it reach its goals. Expressions of interest will be accepted until the end of August.
Image: Bristol’s Millennium Square at night (Bristol City Council)