Trade association Energy UK has stated in a new report that by reinvigorating industry, net zero investment could “revive” less prosperous communities.
Discussed within the latest report in the organisation’s Clean Growth Gap series, the Community Capital edition explores how different regions of the UK could benefit from the energy transition by building on existing strengths in industry and manufacturing, as well as leveraging geographic advantages.
According to the report, which has been produced in partnership with Oxford Economics, the South West and the West Midlands, both areas that currently have a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per head below the national average, could be the biggest beneficiaries from a rapid transition to net zero, thanks to the specialism of their manufacturing sectors.
Alongside this, Energy UK has said that “carbon-intensive industries and proximity to depleted oil and gas fields, such as the North East of England and Scotland as well as South Wales, are well placed to lead the way in carbon capture and hydrogen projects”.
The West Midlands could also benefit from growing interest surrounding electric vehicles (EVs) alongside Sunderland. Cornwall in this respect could gain a boost from supplying lithium for the industry.
Further regional specialisms can be observed on the map below:
On the release of the new report, Dhara Vyas, Energy UK’s deputy chief executive, said: “We’ve already seen how investment in clean energy can bring economic growth to areas away from London and the South East. Those benefits can reach all corners of the country if we commit fully to the energy transition – especially areas whose traditional industrial and manufacturing bases have declined but also make them well-equipped to lead the way in this next clean industrial revolution.
“Previous reports in this series have shown how an ambitious approach to net zero will benefit the whole country and importantly, those areas which could gain the most are the ones most in need of the economic boost.
Vyas concluded: “It again underlines why our country is best served by wholeheartedly seizing the opportunities that the transition to net zero offers and making it the focus of our efforts to deliver economic growth, job opportunities and greater prosperity over the coming years and decades.”