Oxfordshire’s enterprise partnership, OxLEP, has launched a strategy designed to support the ongoing growth of the county’s clean energy, low-carbon economy.
At a launch event on November 5, OxLEP director of strategy Ahmed Goga revealed to a packed room that the low-energy sector, which brings in £1.15bn annually to the regional economy, is capable of growing by 11 per cent a year, four times faster than the national economy.
Strategic objectives to help achieve these growth levels include the retrofit of 4,000 homes per year to cut energy demand and emissions, a shift to electric vehicles (EV’s) to reach a target of 50 per cent of cars to be electric by 2030, and a county-wide increase in renewables from the current proportion of just 10 per cent of the region’s total energy demand.
Goga cited several schemes already under way, or in the pipeline:
An Oxfordshire ESCO – energy services company – is being hosted by Low Carbon Hub to help SME’s install energy-efficient technologies and projects easily and at low risk.
Oxfordshire Hydrogen Hub is a national scheme which supports the regional development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in ways that meet the energy needs of local communities.
Park & Charge: Oxfordshire County Council is installing 300 charge points for EV’s in car parks around the county. The scheme will enable motorists who don’t have off-road parking to charge their vehicles overnight in their nearest car park, and hopes to encourage people in urban environments to invest in EV’s.
Mixergy founder Peter Armstrong spoke about growing a technology enterprise in Oxfordshire. Mixergy makes energy-efficient, ‘smart’ hot water tanks which are being used by Centrica to utilise the tanks in people’s homes to balance supply and demand on the National Grid. Armstrong pointed out the need “to feed and nourish the cleantech community,” in order to meet the challenge of the global climate emergency.
Mixergy was one of the firms OxLEP cited as being in the clean growth space in Oxfordshire. See the full list, and others added by TechTribe Oxford, here:
Adam Workman, Oxford University Innovation’s head of investments and new ventures said since 2016, the global clean growth industry has been worth $9.2bn (£7.1bn) annually. In the UK, he said the post-Brexit referendum lull in policy changes has had a positive effect on incoming investment, as investors have responded to a stable period of policy. Workman called on those in the room to highlight to investors that Oxfordshire is a major hub for innovation.
OxLEP launched its energy strategy at the Perch Eco Business Centre, an environmentally sustainable building in Bicester’s Elmsbrook, a 6,000-home development of sustainable, zero-carbon homes, schools, business and community facilities.
Read the OxLEP Energy Strategy here: https://www.oxfordshirelep.com/energystrategy