One of the best places in the world to invest in renewable energy, the UK also offers significant supply chain opportunities and high returns on investments for any business – whether in the traditional or emerging energy technologies sectors. The UK is committed to building a sustainable energy future, with regulatory and financial support measures to protect and provide attractive incentives to inward investors.
A skilled and experienced energy labour pool of more than 600,000 people has grown up over many years to support the sector, with clusters spread across the UK, including within the Thames Valley.
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The greatest transition facing us this century is the transition to a zero-carbon economy by 2050. The UK Government in Europe’s Clean Growth Campaign is an ambitious new programme of activity across Europe designed to maximise trade, collaboration and knowledge-sharing between the UK and European countries. In November 2021 the UK will host COP26 to drive global ambition on climate change to deliver on the Paris Agreement.
Clean growth presents the most significant economic growth of the 21st century. The cost of renewables and other low carbon technology has fallen far more than anticipated. It is already cheaper to build new renewable energy capacity (including four-hour battery storage) than to continue operating 39% of the world’s coal capacity. Solar and wind are already cheaper than coal power in two thirds of the world.
The UK, hosted by HM The Queen and Prime Minister, Boris Johnson held a one-day Global Investment Summit (GIS) to secure foreign investment in UK green industries of the future. Hosted by the Prime Minister and supported by members of the Royal Family, the summit hopes to galvanise foreign investment in the UK’s green industries of the future ahead of COP26 in November. Investment has allowed the UK’s green industries of the future to thrive, which is fundamental to our long-term prosperity by securing high-quality jobs, economic growth, and new businesses.
The Thames Valley benefits from close proximity to the UK’s only hub airport – London Heathrow – providing outstanding global connections and access to markets across Europe and the rest of the world.
The Government has confirmed its commitment to supporting expansion at the airport, proposals that will have a significant impact on the future economic growth and prosperity of the region and wider South East. Up to 40 new direct long-haul destinations will be served, alongside eight new domestic routes.
Heathrow’s position as the UK’s largest hub airport means it is able to combine direct passengers with transfer passengers, along with international cargo – which make its global network of trade routes viable to fly. As such, 95% of all trade that passes through Heathrow is cargo carried in the belly-hold of passenger planes.
TVCC, in line with its commitment to maintain the momentum behind delivering the airport’s expansion, will be responding and welcoming business to share their responses to help guide and inform our own submission and ensure that we are consistent in highlighting key issues.
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The Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), carried out research on behalf of Heathrow Airport finding that:
Heathrow is the UK’s biggest port with over double the trade value of the UK’s second-largest port by value, Southampton.
In 2019, the total value of trade passing through Heathrow to and from destinations outside the EU and Switzerland was £140.9 billion, up from £109.5 billion in 2018.
UK exports passing through Heathrow were worth £66.7 billion, equal to 40% of UK goods exports outside the EU and Switzerland.
Human activity has created a climate crisis on a global scale, affecting all aspects of our lives. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses and organisations to adopt sustainable methodologies. With clean energy recently overtaking fossil fuels as the UK’s main energy source, and the country’s on-going commitment to build a viable future, there has never been a better time to invest sustainably in the UK.
Below are some examples of best environmental practice across the Thames Valley region:
A leading researcher in climate change, the University has several projects to encourage sustainability, and an ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions by 45% by 2021. In 2018, the institution installed 184 solar panels, accompanying a 30kw battery bank, a water source heat pump and an energy centre.
77% of the global food supply and approximately 1.4 billion jobs rely on pollinators such as bees. Oracle, partnering with The World Bee Project, uses cloud technologies to collect data from beehives and analyse their activity and surroundings. This data can then be used to combat the rapid decline in bees.
The global volume of E-Waste could reach 120 million tonnes by 2050, toxins in these electrics are potentially damaging to soil, and are hard to remove. Wisetek are specialising in IT asset disposal, reuse and data destruction helping reduce damage to the environment, whilst providing financial benefits to its customers.
One of the Grand Challenges is Clean Growth, which has two main missions:
The move to cleaner economic growth presents one of today’s greatest industrial opportunities, through low carbon technologies and the efficient use of resources. Existing industries have the potential to be transformed and new ones generated.
Thames Water have put together an environmental policy that outlines their high-level environmental objectives, guiding their overall approach to good environment management. The policy recognises that natural resources and the environment are vital to us, highlighting the necessity to comply with environmental laws, regulations and standards, effective pollution management and responsible development of water resources. More specifically, Thames Water are promoting the adoption of sustainable urban drainage systems, reducing the amount of waste we produce, making sure sewage sludge is re-used in a beneficial way and working alongside supplies, contractors and partners to improve their environmental performance.
Thames Water was named IT Team of the Year, alongside winning the the award for Best Use of Cloud Services for its response to the COVID-19 crisis as it continues to develop and utilise new technology to support customers and the environment in these new ventures.
Read more, HERE.
Thames Valley Berkshire LEP have outlined, in their Energy and Environment Sector Proposition, a £30 million energy efficiency project – the Thames Valley Vision.
The project was established to ensure a high quality and affordable electricity network for the future, benefiting customers in Bracknell and the surrounding area and helping the UK achieve a low carbon economy. TVV will collect new data and develop sophisticated modelling to allow the operation and planning of networks to afford costly system reinforcement, these methods will provide technologies that manage the way consumers use energy, promoting energy efficiency and renewable heat and electricity generation at residential properties.
Read more, HERE.