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Energy Innovation Agency launched to accelerate Manchester’s net-zero ambitions

An Energy Innovation Agency has been launched in Greater Manchester and will work to find energy solutions to help the region reach its net-zero ambitions.

Combining expertise from academics, the private sector and the public sector, the team are looking to open opportunities across Greater Manchester to accelerate energy innovation.

Members include representatives from the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford, property specialists Bruntwood, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, The Growth Company, Hitachi Europe, and energy firm SSE. 

The Agency will focus on four key challenges: the generation and storage of renewable energy, producing low carbon heating, low carbon transport and ensuring a diverse and stable energy mix in the UK.

aerial photography of concrete buildings at daytime

A series of challenge events will take place across each focus area, designed to engage energy innovators to come together to solve and to accelerate Manchester’s transition to carbon-neutral.

David Schiele, Director of the Energy Innovation Agency, said: ‘12% of the UK’s carbon emissions are produced from heating non-domestic buildings, of which 60% still generate their heat by gas. Reducing these emissions will be essential for the UK and, indeed, the rest of the world to speed up the progress of creating carbon-neutral cities and towns. 

‘As the home of The Energy Innovation Agency, Greater Manchester will be our testbed for this challenge, as well as the three challenges to follow. The potential prize extends far beyond the confines of our city-region and as such we’re looking globally as well as locally to find solutions that can help to bolster this transition. We need innovators, entrepreneurs, and rainmakers to come forward with their brightest responses to this challenge – the world literally depends on it.’

The Energy Innovation Agency aims to make Greater Manchester carbon-neutral by 2038 through the creation of investment opportunities for energy projects and the rapid full-scale integration of clean energy innovations.

Individuals and organisations are invited to pitch their solutions to the Agency and if successful will be supported to develop a roadmap to commercialisation.  

In related news Manchester City Council recently confirmed a £200m funding package to help combat the climate crisis. 

Photo by William McCue

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