New report sets out how the North can lead the UK’s Net Zero transition

5th April 2022

  • Net Zero North Prospectus by the NP11 identifies collaborative action that will help the North lead the UK’s transition to Net Zero
  • As the UK’s energy powerhouse – generating 50% of renewable energy – the North is best placed to lead the response to this crisis, focusing on offshore technologies, new nuclear, hydrogen, Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and natural solutions to climate change

With the growing energy cost crisis underlining the urgency of the UK developing low cost, secure and low carbon energy sources, our report pinpoints those projects that will enable the North to lead the UK’s transition to Net Zero and level up the economy.

The Net Zero North Prospectus, published today, marks the beginning stage of a programme that sets out to develop a roadmap for how the North can lead the UK’s transition to Net Zero, focusing on those areas where collaboration across the North and with Government offers the best economic and environmental outcomes.

Our previous research has highlighted the potential to create 100,000 new green jobs by 2050, grow the economy by £2.3 billion a year and attract an additional £2 billion a year of investment into the North’s energy economy.

Clare Hayward, Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington LEP:

“The North is already leading the way in responding to the Government’s 10-point plan and this Prospectus sets out a compelling offer to the Government for how the North can help them achieve their ambitions – not just on making the transition to Net Zero by 2050, but on levelling up the North’s economy, creating thousands of new green jobs, and developing new export and investment opportunities that will boost the competitiveness of Global Britain.

“It offers a positive glimpse into the future of the North’s economy – one in which the energy assets that powered the original Industrial Revolution become the foundations for the Green Industrial Revolution, providing economic and environmental benefits across the North and nationally, as well as enhanced energy security.”

James Newman, Chair of the Hull and East Yorkshire LEP:

“This Prospectus is a vital starting point in setting out how the North can help the whole country address those challenges. It is not about presenting a shopping list to Government, as the North is already doing so much by leading the UK’s Net Zero transition through collaboration between businesses, research institutions and public bodies as this report makes clear. It is about identifying those projects that, with the right support, could be genuinely transformational – not just for the North but for the whole UK.

“The North’s clean growth capabilities collectively represent a unique investment proposition. The way to unlock the enormous economic and environmental benefits we can offer is by taking a strategic, long-term and joined-up view, by working together across the North and with Government.”

The Prospectus identifies projects and investment opportunities across the North, including:

  • Offshore technologies: key opportunities include further development of offshore wind capabilities in the North Sea and the Mersey Tidal Power project, expected to generate enough renewable energy to power 1 million homes.
  • New nuclear: key opportunities include clean energy parks in Cumbria and Lancashire; and advanced manufacturing research and innovation in South Yorkshire.
  • Hydrogen and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS): key opportunities include proposals for Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) at Drax in Selby, North Yorkshire; the UK’s first industrial-scale carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) plant at Tata Chemicals in Northwich; the Tees-Leeds hydrogen corridor that will provide hydrogen infrastructure between the two regions for transport, domestic heating and industrial use; the groundbreaking HyNet project, which alone is set to provide 50% of the total hydrogen needed to meet the UK’s net zero targets by 2050; and the East Coast Cluster covering Teesside and the Humber, which is set to remove almost 50% of the UK’s industrial cluster carbon emissions.
  • Making the most of the North’s natural assets: nature-based solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change and boost biodiversity include the Great Northern Forest, which will ultimately plant at least 50 million trees across the North of England, transforming the landscape from coast to coast; the Great North Bog, an ambitious, grand-scale peatland restoration initiative which will restore nearly 7,000 square kilometres of upland peat in the Protected Landscapes of northern England; the Sustainable Landscapes Humber Project which will see farmers grow cover crops between harvesting and sowing to reduce flooding and improve soil health; and Eden Project North in the nationally significant natural environment of Morecambe Bay, which has far-reaching environmental, social and economic ambitions.

Other supporting initiatives include assessing the opportunities created by the North’s three Freeports in Teesside, the Humber and the Liverpool City Region, plus green finance and innovation to help bring projects forward and develop new technologies.

The NP11 and partners are continuing to work to identify principal development and investment opportunities, building the economic case for collaboration approaches such as shared procurement or supply chain coordination across the North, and assess funding and delivery options for the opportunities.

 

Click here for Net Zero North Prospectus

 

 

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