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Bristol launches ambitious £1 billion net zero energy finance bid

Image: Bristol City Council.

Image: Bristol City Council.

Bristol has launched an ambitious plan to raise up to £1 billion of investment to turn it into the UK’s first carbon neutral city.

Bristol City Leap, a project co-led by Bristol City Council and local energy supplier Bristol Energy, has launched a global search for organisations willing to invest in a joint venture that will help deliver a net zero energy system in the city by 2030.

The project is more than a year in the planning, having first been unveiled in May last year. It was then approved by Bristol City Council in April this year, prompting more than 180 organisations – including tech firms, investors and energy companies – to get in touch.

Bristol City Leap has now formally launched the procurement process, which is expected to run for a number of months. More information, as well as an investment prospectus, is available on the Bristol ESCO website.

Bristol’s mayor Marvin Rees described the project as a “world first”, adding that while it would lead the way on carbon reduction, the project would also address “important social and economic challenges”.

“The inclusion of Bristol Energy is integral to delivering smart energy propositions utilising City Leap’s projects by weaving a number of technologies together, helping to ensure that the company continues to deliver clean energy and social value for local people,” he said.

Bristol Energy is to play a pivotal role in the City Leap project, the council said, and the utility is to bring forward and deliver smart energy propositions – including localised tariffs and new, innovative services – for the benefit of Bristol’s residents.

The supplier will benefit from additional investment, aimed to reduce its reliance on council funding.

Marek Majewicz, managing director at Bristol Energy, said that City Leap had “social value at its heart”.

“From community heat networks, to energy innovation in social housing, the substantial investment from the partnership will enable everyone in Bristol to benefit from low carbon, renewable energy projects.

“Bristol Energy is already working on a wide range of innovative projects and we’re looking forward to harnessing low-carbon technologies for the good of our city and our customers.”

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