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 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.
Europe’s largest infrastructure project is expected to be fully operational in Autumn 2019.
Connecting Reading and Heathrow to London and the City, Crossrail, or the Elizabeth Line as it will be known, will reduce journey times across London, ease congestion on the transport network and link the capital’s major commercial districts more effectively, making it easier to do business in London and the Thames Valley.
Re-establishing a rail link between Oxford and Cambridge, unlocking the economic potential in the north of the region, supporting significant housing growth.
Currently scheduled to be completed by 2027, the proposed new direct rail link, connecting the Thames Valley to Heathrow, will improve journeys to Britain’s busiest airport and help increase economic productivity. The journey time between Slough and Heathrow will be reduced to just six minutes.
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Enabling faster, more efficient connectivity, supporting the economic growth of three of the most successful and productive cities in the country.
Commenced in Autumn 2018, the M4 Smart Motorway between Junctions 3 and 12 will be operational by Spring 2022.
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.
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.
Britain’s first ever floating solar panel project was built in Berkshire consisting of 800-panels. The green energy project was installed in September 2014 on a reservoir at Sheeplands Farm, a 300-acre soft fruit farm near Wargrave. The 800-panel project is 200kw capacity and spans roughly an acre, mounted on plastic floats.
Thames Water, headquartered in Reading, also produced floating solar panels, placing more than 23,000 solar photovoltaic panels on the surface of the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir in Surrey. The farm is the size of eight football pitches and is expected to generate 5.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Thames Water will then use the energy to power, in part, a nearby water treatment works.
Thames Water have been recognised for its commitment to sustainability by the influential Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark for Infrastructure Survey.
Read more, HERE.
Printing since 1946, this small family run business is paving the way for sustainable printing, after realising just how damaging the industry had become. For 20 years the company has been pushing boundaries to create their own printing process, whilst achieving zero waste to landfill and being recognised as the most sustainable SME in Europe. Seacourt uses 100% renewable energy, even paying for its plastic (that would normally end up in landfill) to be recycled, in fact, the carbon footprint of your house is bigger than that of its factory. The use of their revolutionary new technology has enticed a number of A-list clients, including Planet Organic and the Government’s own Committee on Climate Change; enabling the company to go beyond carbon neutral, offsetting its entire operational footprint plus an extra 10 per cent.
Read more, HERE.