Engineering giant Siemens has announced a major partnership with nearly 100 mayors and council leaders in a bid to realise a pipeline of clean energy projects worth more than £100 billion.
The partnership, clinched with the UK100 - a network of local government leaders committed to sourcing 100% of their jurisdictions’ energy demand from clean sources - will see Siemens collaborate with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to create clean energy projects at “significant commercial scale”.
Financing from local authorities, private capital and government investment will be used to pursue the pipeline of projects, identified via a survey of local authorities conducted by UK100 alongside a study of local energy transition strategies by Siemens.
While the value of those projects has been placed at north of £100 billion, only a small percentage are ready for commercialisation, with others deemed to be at conceptual or feasibility study stages.
Siemens and UK100 pointed to “convoluted and confusing procurement processes”, as well as red tape and slow decision making, as potentially hampering projects from coming forward at scale, and the study identified that greater support from central government is needed to bring more projects to fruition.
Carl Ennis, managing director at Siemens Smart Infrastructure, said local governments are in a “strong position” to help the UK transition to 100% clean energy.
“We will work with Local Energy Hubs to develop clean energy action plans which will make credible business cases to attract investors and make sure that these plans have support from local communities,” he said.
Siemens pointed to a number of projects it is already collaborating on, including the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator Project at Keele University and the Triangulum project in Manchester, the latter of which is utilising renewable energy sources to ‘flatten’ peak demand in the area.
The company will now host regional workshops to help local governments pursue clean energy projects, the first of which is to be held on 3 October in Leicester.
Polly Billington, director at UK100, said: “Siemens commitment to this partnership is a sign that the private sector is taking local energy schemes seriously and can help local government to play its part in meeting our ambition of net-zero emissions.”