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City of Edinburgh Council unveils new strategy to support 2030 net zero ambitions

The strategy will see the council form a partnership with SP Energy Networks. Image: SPEN

The strategy will see the council form a partnership with SP Energy Networks. Image: SPEN

A strategic partnership between City of Edinburgh Council and SP Energy Networks (SPEN) has been formed as part of the former's new decarbonisation strategy.

This partnership is to help maximise the benefit of grid investment for the city and its citizens in support of the council's goal of enabling Edinburgh to be a net zero city by 2030.

It comes as part of the new draft strategy, which also includes the goal of delivering a city-wide heat and energy masterplan by 2022, supported by the SPEN partnership.

Earlier this month, SPEN unveiled a first of its kind tool for modelling the uptake of low-carbon forms of heat. This tool - dubbed Heat Up - enables the distribution network operator to estimate the size of heat pump required to heat a building using the characteristics of all homes in its region, allowing it to understand the impact future low-carbon heat can have on the network due to increases in electricity demand from the additional connections.

Outside of heat, the council is also looking at methods of decarbonising transport. If the strategy is approved, it will to create electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs for public service vehicles, making them available to residents where possible at key times and in key locations.

The strategy also includes plans to establish a Climate Delivery Group of the city’s most influential chief executives to unlock collective action and develop a pipeline of net zero projects, as well as plans to test approaches to retrofit in challenging mixed-tenure and heritage settings including Edinburgh’s World Heritage site.

Additionally, the council will scope pilot proposals for creating net zero communities in two neighbourhoods within the city and deliver a new net zero development at Granton Waterfront.

Guy Jefferson, chief operating officer for SP Energy Networks, said: “We will be delighted to develop proposals for a strategic partnership with Edinburgh City Council as it is only through collaboration between government and industry that we can harness the knowledge, skills and resources we need to tackle climate change.”

If the strategy is approved there will be a twelve-week online public consultation from 14 June. It comes as Scotland gears up to host COP26, with the climate conference to take place in Glasgow in November.

In May, COP26 president-designate Alok Sharma outlined how his personal priority for the event is to end international coal financing, adding that “we are urging countries to abandon coal power”.

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