Coast2Capital, together with Enterprise M3 and South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) have set out how to achieve an ambitious energy strategy for their combined region.
In 2019, the partners unveiled a shared vision for the South East to become a leader for sustainable energy production within the UK, powering innovative, decarbonised and clean economic growth. There are five priority themes under the strategy – low carbon heating, energy saving and efficiency, renewable generation, smart energy systems, and transport – with 18 key project models identified to be rolled out and scaled up.
These project models were set out in the South2East Local Energy Strategy Action Plan and include a hydrogen injection into the natural gas grid, offshore wind development, solar and microgrid on landfill sites, EV charging and refuelling infrastructure, and to move all off-gas homes in the tri-LEP region towards sustainable, low carbon sources.
It is also proposing a programme of home energy efficiency measures enabling improved levels of loft and cavity wall insulation, assisting homes in achieving an EPC rating of C, as well as housing and community micro grids. It explained that with thousands of new homes to be built every year in the south east, micro grids would offer an “excellent opportunity” to retain more of the economic value of the energy generated locally. It would also enable developers to circumvent constraint issues on the public distribution grid.
The report said that should the plan be delivered in line with the recommended project models then, by 2032, the tri-LEP region would have secured investment in the region of £14.755bn in commercially and technically viable projects; delivered a 13,615 kT CO2e reduction in CO2 emissions across the electricity, heat and transport sectors; seen a transition of 47,455GWh of energy from polluting, high carbon generation sources to clean energy; and created, or secured, 75,652 jobs across the region.