Existing technology can drive Birmingham to net zero by 2030

More effectively harnessing current and future energy generation sources can help Birmingham to achieve net zero by 2030, according to a study.

On 9 March, Siemens outlined the findings from a joint project it had undertaken with Tyseley Energy Park (TEP) and the University of Birmingham. It looked to model the impact of more effectively using existing generation assets to deliver a carbon reduction strategy for Birmingham’s Eastern Corridor. It found it could help to tackle the challenges of energy poverty, poor air quality, grid constraints and unemployment, while transforming energy innovation, driving clean growth and supporting the region’s decarbonisation goals.

Siemens collaborated with a wide range of local stakeholders, using bespoke digital modelling tools based on real-time data. It demonstrated that, by optimising heat and power usage, the energy system could save 90kt of CO2 emissions and reliably supply residents with 500GWh of sustainably generated heat and 100GWh of electricity. This would cover all electrical demand and up to 75% of heating demand from already existing and planned energy sources.

Other options include supplying major energy users – notably the local airport – with renewable electricity, green heat and cooling, saving 10kt of CO2 emissions per year, or fuelling up to 50 buses and six trains with locally produced hydrogen, instead of diesel, saving 19kt of CO2 emissions. The insights will be used by TEP, the University of Birmingham and partners in supporting Birmingham City Council’s decarbonisation ambitions, while driving innovation across the West Midlands.

David Horsfall, Director of Tyseley Energy Park, said: “To inform the right strategy decisions, we needed deep insights into our existing and future energy generation and usage in order to demonstrate the untapped benefit of a more coordinated approach to energy. The Siemens model allowed us to identify the areas with the biggest potential and define a clear way forward.”