Bristol City Council’s Cabinet last night backed a move to proceed with finding private sector partners to work with on the city’s future energy projects as part of the £1bn City Leap initiative.
Courtesy of Bristol City Council
The decision is a major step forward for the project to strategically develop, co-ordinate, deliver and facilitate a smart, interconnected energy system for Bristol, which was initially launched in May of last year.
The prospectus of partnership and investment opportunities attracted interest from over 180 local, national and international organisations, including tech firms, investors, community organisations and innovative energy and infrastructure developers.
Following a six-month officer appraisal, Cabinet was asked to decide around building a strategic partnership with the private sector to support the city’s carbon neutrality ambitions.
The City Leap initiative includes a range of projects including low-carbon heat networks, renewable energy from wind, solar and marine sources, as well energy efficiency, electric vehicles and smart energy systems using the latest technology.
The council’s wholly-owned energy supply company, Bristol Energy, will have a key role to play in bringing all of these projects together and enabling the transition to a smart energy system by harnessing its energy supply expertise and smart energy innovation capabilities to put the company on a sustainable footing for the future.
“City Leap is an immensely exciting project that has been years in the making and builds on the strong leadership that we’ve shown towards energy and climate change over the years” said Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Energy and Transport. “The project is a unique opportunity to leverage the assets within the city to deliver clean, affordable energy to its people, communities and businesses. It will make it possible for everyone in Bristol to have a positive impact on how we use energy in the city both now, and for future generations. This is a council first and we’re very proud of the innovative approach towards public, community and business partnership that we’ve developed, which is something that central government and other local authorities are watching with keen interest. The council has made incredible progress, cutting its own carbon emissions by 71 percent since 2005 and we’re in a strong position to support the rest of the city to take action”.
Councillor Craig Cheney, Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance & Performance added that the council is aware that there is a real and pressing need for the city to increase the pace of delivery and strategically co-ordinate the projects that will deliver the deep carbon reductions that it needs. This, coupled with shrinking public budgets, means that the city needs to find new, innovative and inclusive ways of delivering and funding the city-scale low-carbon infrastructure that will be required to deliver on its ambitions. The scale of opportunities and the city-wide action needed to support cannot be achieved without the support, input and consent of the residents and business community of Bristol.