Bristol council to decide on city’s ‘smart’ energy system

Bristol City Council’s executive will next week discuss the City Leap initiative, which aims to create a smart, inter-connected energy system for the city alongside private sector partners.

Officers have evaluated Bristol’s options over the past six months and next Tuesday’s meeting will see the executive deciding which recommendations will be best for Bristol as it aims to become a carbon-neutral city.

Cllr Kye Dudd, cabinet member for Energy and Transport, said ‘City Leap is an immensely exciting project that has been years in the making and builds on the strong leadership that we’ve shown towards energy and climate change over the years.

‘The project is a unique opportunity to leverage the assets within the city to deliver clean, affordable energy to its people, communities and businesses.

‘It will make it possible for Bristolians to take ownership of their energy system, using it to build better lives for themselves and the next generation.’

Launched in May last year, the City Leap initiative published a prospectus featuring up to £1bn of potential private sector partnerships and investment for Bristol.

The initiative attracted interest from over 180 organisations across Bristol, the South West and the country, including tech firms, community organisations and energy and infrastructure developers.

Projects covered by City Leap’s vision for Bristol’s energy system include low-carbon heat networks, renewable energy from wind, solar and marine sources, as well as energy efficiency and a move towards electric vehicles.

The council’s energy supply company Bristol Energy will be responsible for bringing together these projects together and giving Bristol a sustainable and smart energy system.

Bristol City Council said that working in partnership with the private sector will be ‘key’ as it looks to reduce its carbon emissions further and fund new low-carbon infrastructure.

‘The scale of opportunities and the city-wide action needed to support cannot be achieved without the support, input and consent of the residents and business community of Bristol,’ said Cllr Craig Cheney, cabinet member for finance, governance & performance.

‘It is therefore vital that we fully engage with the city to ensure that the communities of Bristol have a meaningful say and, crucially, a level of ownership in City Leap and the energy assets it will deliver.’

Bristol is already far ahead of other cities in the UK when it comes to hitting its climate targets and switching to a low-carbon economy.

Earlier this month the council revealed that it has cut its own carbon emissions by 71% since 2005, hitting its 65% target two years ahead of schedule.

The council will soon be proposing a new target to cut ‘even more’ carbon emissions from its direct activities.

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Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden

Digital News Reporter

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