Plans for £15bn green energy economy for the Humber

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 13 Oct 2017

Northern Powergrid has said it is ready to play a major part in the region’s energy revolution.

The final report of the Northern Energy Taskforce calls for the North to lead the UK’s transition to low-carbon, and has set out proposals to create a green energy economy worth £15 billion a year by 2050.

It calls for two new bodies to work alongside Northern Powergrid and other regional network operators to drive forward a Northern Energy Strategy, and says the proposals could lead to the creation 100,000 jobs in the north in the renewable energy sector.

Biomass domes at an East Yorkshire power station

Patrick Erwin, Northern Powergrid’s policy and markets director, said there is an important role for the company to play, and they are working towards realising the report's vision.

He said: “I think there really is an important role for us to play in this region to support energy projects. We are trying to integrate into the systems as we can to help the economy and develop the energy systems.

“All these technological changes will create a lot of opportunities, and we think it is our role to help the region embrace this opportunity, and ensure it does not happen in a chaotic manner.

Read more: Siemens Gamesa make space at Alexandra Dock blade facility available to developers

“We directly employ around 2,500 and a lot of others in subsidiary roles, so we obviously have a significant share in ensuring that we see this green energy movement in East Yorkshire and across the north.

Patrick Erwin of Northern Powergrid

“One of the last things we have done is a collaboration with Nissan to what we can do help establish further these vehicles onto our network, to ensure it is easy to power them up and continue to grow their usage.”

Hull has seen a recent surge in the renewable energy sector, with the opening of Siemens Gamesa’s blade factory last year and last month's announcement the government has signed off for the construction of the "world’s offshore biggest wind farm" 89km off the East Yorkshire coast.

The IPPR report calls on Ofgem to make the North its testbed for the transition to a smart grid.

Biomass domes at an East Yorkshire power station

The Northern Energy Strategy would oversee a Northern Energy Accelerator working with regional universities and Local Enterprise Partnerships to fund research and innovative low-carbon projects and take them from early-stage innovation to commercial and social success.

The Northern Energy Taskforce collected evidence for their report by conducting workshops, including a session on developing a northern energy supply chain in Hull.

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