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Bristol launches search for partners to help build sustainable future

Today (9 May) Bristol City Council has launched an international search for potential partners to help reach the city’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

The council is looking to attract up to £1bn investment in Bristol’s energy infrastructure over the next decade.  A new prospectus, known as City Leap, has been released outlining a series of energy and infrastructure investment opportunities available to local, national and international businesses.

The prospectus is designed to test the market and lays out big ambitions and opportunities, building on the work and innovative pilot schemes already taking place in the city.  

Cllr Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Energy and Waste, said: “Bristol is already internationally recognised as a leading energy city, but now we’re looking to take things to the next level and we need partners to join us on this journey. City Leap sets out a diverse range of opportunities which could be available for businesses and will allow us to explore possibilities which wouldn’t be open to us working alone.

“We want to use our role as local government to act as a catalyst for change. In return for partnering with us, businesses would get a chance to shape the future of the city’s energy system and unlock opportunities to gain a return on their initial investment.”

The largest investment opportunities are in the areas of heat networks* (£300m) and domestic energy efficiency (£300m). Over the next decade the council hopes to expand the city’s existing heat network and facilitate the development of a large-scale heat network from Avonmouth to Severnside. Domestic energy efficiency work will focus on addressing fuel poverty and enabling households to insulate their properties to reduce the costs of heating their homes.

Collaborations are also sought on a smart energy system, which could include development of a ‘Bristol Battery’ to link in with local and national energy transmission networks, as well as projects focused on commercial energy efficiency and renewable energy. There are also opportunities for businesses which specialise in monitoring and evaluation of projects.

The council is joining forces with a wide range of partners from across the city, including University of Bristol, University of the West of England (UWE), Western Power Distribution, Bristol is Open, Invest Bristol and Bath, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and Bristol Energy.

Ian Townsend, Chief Executive of Bristol Green Capital Partnership said: “City Leap is an important initiative to ensure that Bristol stays on track to meet its carbon neutral 2050 target while also solving our city’s energy, environmental and other challenges.

“We are incredibly fortunate that Bristol is so engaged with environmental sustainability and energy issues. We are pleased to join this exciting partnership, which builds on 11 years of collaboration and innovation of and among the 800+ members of Bristol Green Capital Partnership from across sectors, all working towards the shared vision of a sustainable city with a high quality of life for all. This includes the city’s vibrant community energy scene which will play an important role in shaping Bristol’s sustainable future. The Partnership looks forward to helping to engage the city in the positive change the City Leap will bring to Bristol and its communities.”

Since 2005, Bristol City Council has delivered a wide programme of energy efficiency and investment initiatives, investing tens of millions of pounds in renewable energy generation and energy efficiency and meeting the 2020 corporate carbon reduction target three years early. 

The City Leap prospectus is just a starting point and the council is also welcoming new ideas to help it reach its goals.  Expressions of interest will be accepted until the end of August and full details of the prospectus can be found here www.energyservicebristol.co.uk/prospectus

* Heat networks are a network of underground pipes that will deliver affordable, low-carbon heat and energy across the city. More information can be found here https://www.energyservicebristol.co.uk/business/heat-network