East Midlands Mayor gives green light to country’s largest local area energy plan


An ambitious scheme to meet Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire’s net zero targets has moved one step closer to reality today, after the newly formed East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA) gave its backing to the region’s Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP). 

The LAEP – which has been designed and developed by a number of local authorities across the region, alongside the Midlands Net Zero Hub – will be supported by EMCCA, which is funding its implementation over the next two years.  

The initiative will see a data-driven, net zero ‘action plan’ rolled out across the region, which will aim to deliver an effective, on-time and value for money approach to climate resilience, tailored to the need of local communities. 

It will set out priority areas for different elements of the region’s energy system and identify the areas where specific technologies – such as heat pumps, EV charging and insulation schemes – would be most effectively installed. 

Mott MacDonald and Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) have been appointed to drive the project forward over the next two years, working collaboratively with local authorities and Midlands Net Zero Hub. 

The Local Area Energy Plan, once implemented, will be the largest of its kind in England – putting the region in a strong position to attract investment and create jobs in green industries. 

Claire Ward, Mayor of the East Midlands, said: “Thanks to the fantastic work of our local authorities and valued partners, our region is in a strong position to meet the challenge of net zero and secure a sustainable future for our young people. 

“We need to make big, systemic changes to the ways we produce and consume energy – and here in the East Midlands we want to drive this on a local level, putting communities in control of how best to tackle climate change. 

“That’s why I am delighted to see the East Midlands Combined County Authority, which I chair and lead, supporting the Local Area Energy Plan. Not only will it provide a clear roadmap for a greener future, but it will also encourage more investment in low carbon technologies – creating high-skilled jobs and business growth in sectors that are working towards the net zero transition.” 

Wayne Bexton, Director of Green Growth, Investment and Assets at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The appointment of a LAEP provider for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire is a significant milestone which will enable the new combined county authority to detail a clear, innovative path to achieving net zero.  

“The work will ensure we can harness further investment into the region, creating new jobs and opportunities for training in low carbon industries. 

“Our region has an unparalleled opportunity to lead for the UK on this agenda, and this is an exciting next step on that journey.” 

Michael Gallagher, Director of Environment & Sustainability at Nottingham City Council (Interim) and Senior Responsible Officer Midlands Net Zero Hub, said: “The development of the largest Local Area Energy Plan in England, supported by the Midlands Net Zero Hub, has been a brilliant collaborative effort across all local authorities in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.  

“We are excited to be working with Mott-McDonald and IES to develop a joined-up plan that can help the region identify a cost-efficient route to net zero for the region that attracts investment, enables projects and supports economic growth.” 

Work will get underway on rolling out the plan from June 2024. 

Published on: 30 May 2024

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