Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

04.03.19

The Future of Energy for the Northern Powerhouse at EvoNorth

Throughout all of the various topics discussed across the two days of EvoNorth, there were two overarching themes which consistently cropped up: Brexit and climate change, arguably the two most disruptive challenges facing the country right now.

Whether it was during the leaders debates on health, social care and wellbeing; business, innovation and investment; or transport and connectivity, the challenge of creating clean and sustainable energy sources was a key topic of discussion.

High levels of CO2 in our cities is now a major health problem; trains, busses and cars powered by traditional petrol and diesel will soon have to be phased out; and new energy innovations will undoubtedly bring new jobs and investment for businesses.

A zero-carbon future

Everyone is aware of the global dangers posed by climate change, and that time is running out to do something about it. Innovative solutions with both business and government backing, back up by investment and an upskilled workforce, will therefore be essential.

Joe Howe, professor and executive director at Thornton Energy Research Institute, said at the event that we are entering an exciting period of decarbonisation, with clean air and hydrogen power rising higher and higher on the agendas of government and business alike. For example, the government has already pledged to do away with diesel-only trains by 2040, and companies like Alstom, Siemens, Stagecoach, Cadence already heavily investing in hydrogen technology across the region.

The North is where it’s at

Andrew Clark, energy programme lead for the North East Local Enterprise partnership, said the North has always been the country’s “engine room,” a sentiment shared across the panel along with Howe; Keith Owen, head of systems development and energy strategy for Northern Gas Networks; and Mark Taylor, deputy director for energy innovation at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who said that he has seen “better and better work in the North,” and that “it’s important that everyone in the room sees the opportunity, and that the government understands that it’s going to happen, and happen up here.”

The panel argued that the North West in particular has the innovation, industry, and infrastructure to make hydrogen a reality after showing a short video from the North West Hydrogen Alliance:

NWHA_p9a from Public Sector Executive on Vimeo.

More to come and more to do

There was plenty to discuss as to what the North is already doing to deliver clean and sustainable energy. However, when it came to what the future holds, there was barely enough time at the event for the panel to scratch the surface, which in itself portrays the vast potential for the North to become a world leader in energy.

Taylor revealed that he will soon launch the first decent-scale carbon capture project and will shortly announce that “we have won a competition to produce hydrogen energy from waste.” And, alongside Owen, the two revealed that they have been developing connections across Whitehall and – as they’re competitors against other departments – they are making the claim for a ramp up in funding.

However, to reach the carbon-free future where the energy supplies for our homes, hospitals, schools, trains, and businesses will be sustainable for the long term, we must, alongside investment, we must “bring people together to enhance partners with a mandate, deliver regional growth, and create innovative solutions.”

Find out more about what went on at EvoNorth 2019 in our Business & Innovation and Education blogs.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Peterborough City Council to tackle homelessness with its own housing company

20/09/2019Peterborough City Council to tackle homelessness with its own housing company

Peterborough City Council to ask for cabinet approval to set up their own Housing Revenue Account (HRA), enabling the council to provide&nbs... more >
Home Office encourages civil servants to volunteer with police

20/09/2019Home Office encourages civil servants to volunteer with police

Civil servants who take up the option of volunteering as special constables will get up to 12 days paid special leave a year, in order to sp... more >
Network rail proposal for UNESCO World Heritage Site

20/09/2019Network rail proposal for UNESCO World Heritage Site

Network Rail has submitted a planning application to City of Edinburgh Council proposing to install a bridge walk and visitor centre at the histori... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been th... more > more last word articles >
Home Office encourages civil servants to volunteer with police

20/09/2019Home Office encourages civil servants to volunteer with police

Civil servants who take up the option of volunteering as special constables will get up to 12 days paid special leave a year, in order to spend more time supporting their local police force.... more >
LGA provides plans for devolution-themed Queen’s speech

20/09/2019LGA provides plans for devolution-themed Queen’s speech

With 350 councils to represent in England, the LGA are keen to make sure local services and communities are the government’s top priority. The have issued a seven-point plan for the Qu... more >

the raven's daily blog

Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

02/09/2019Northern Powerhouse Partner aims to connect the North once again

In February this year, official Northern Powerhouse Partner, Cognitive Publishing, delivered EvoNorth 2019.  The two day event was designed to amplify and highlight future developments the region has to offer - uniting leaders responsible for fuelling the Northern Powerhouse agenda, including Dr Nicola Headlam, Head of the Northern Powerh... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >
A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News