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Energy for Growth: a new strategy for the North East

The North East LEP’s new Energy for Growth strategy aims to drive economic growth in the North East while also bringing sector partners together to deliver at scale on national energy strategy.

Andrew Clark, North East LEP Energy Programme Lead, explains more.

We’ve been actively consulting with cross-sector partners across the North East with an interest in the energy agenda to develop the Energy for Growth strategy, and bring stakeholders together to capitalise on the North East’s significant strengths and opportunities in this area.

Our vision for the Energy for Growth strategy is to drive growth in the North East while delivering on national energy objectives at scale. The strategy helps us shape regional delivery, taking forward a key strand of the North East Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). The SEP identifies energy as an area of strategic importance for the North East, with potential to bring investment and jobs to our region. Through the Energy for Growth strategy we will build on our commitment to drive forward this opportunity.

Within the strategy, we’ve identified 13 themes where the North East can both contribute to national policy and drive growth within the region, ranging from low-emission transport to offshore energy, heat networks, and geothermal energy from old mine workings.

We’ve also outlined three distinct workstreams through which we will build and support a pipeline of forthcoming projects around these themes, to help us to achieve the aims of the strategy.

One of these workstreams is offshore energy and subsea technology, focusing on supporting the North East’s world-leading strengths and supply chain operating in this arena. A second workstream is around regional energy projects, where delivery of energy projects at scale, for example around heat, power or transport, in the North East can help solve national challenges.

The third workstream is energy demonstration and innovation. This is where the first two meet, with a nationally significant asset base in the North East in innovating, demonstrating and delivering new solutions across all forms of energy technologies, systems, policy and research.

As the UK builds on its clean growth commitments, the North East is in an important position to be the partner of choice for industry and government when it comes to testing, developing and delivering new energy technologies and solutions. Potential growth of the UK low carbon economy is estimated at 11% per year between 2015 and 2030 – four times faster than the rest of the economy – and this is an area where we can make a real difference with our comprehensive regional capabilities.

The energy sector is one which has huge potential to bring more and better jobs to the North East, alongside a host of wider social and environmental benefits. If you’re involved in an energy project that you think could impact national policy and bring investment to our region, I’d love to hear from you.

Andrew Clark, North East LEP Energy Programme Lead.

Read an executive summary of the Energy for Growth strategy here and read the full strategy here.


Home / Andrew Clark

Electric vehicle challenge for North East businesses

As part of the Go Ultra Low North East campaign, The Electric Vehicle Innovation Accelerator is a new programme aimed at identifying and developing ways to overcome barriers that are preventing the adoption of electric vehicles.

The North East LEP’s Energy Programme Lead, Andrew Clark, will be part of the panel of industry experts tasked with selecting the strongest ideas aimed at increasing the uptake of electric vehicles.

North East businesses are being invited to apply for this new accelerator programme which is all about generating new ideas around increasing the take-up of electric vehicles.

We know that some of the barriers to the use of electric vehicles include the cost and complexity of installing the necessary charging infrastructure, as well as the practicalities around temperature controlled vehicles, and it is these specific challenges that the programme will aim to address.

Businesses of all sizes and operating in any sector are invited to apply to the accelerator programme, and those who are successful will receive intensive business support and the opportunity to win a £20,000 grant to help bring their idea to market.

What’s exciting about this programme is that it’s an area where two strands of our regional expertise come together: energy and transport. The North East has strengths in both these sectors and it’s an opportunity for us to explore what can come out of cross-sector innovation. For that reason, we’d particularly love to hear from businesses operating in the electrical, construction, manufacturing and architecture sectors, and related fields, as well as those in the electric vehicle arena.

We’re a region which excels when it comes to innovating and demonstrating new technologies which can help us make the transition to a low-carbon economy, including those at the intersection between transport and energy.

The shift to low emission transport and electric vehicles is a focus of national energy policy, and it’s an area where the North East has leading expertise and can really make a difference, as well as being an opportunity to create more and better jobs through our growing energy and automotive sectors.

Electric vehicles are a part of all our futures and they’re an important part of the future economy of the North East too. I’m looking forward to working with my fellow panel members from the Innovation SuperNetwork, Zero Carbon Futures, Newcastle University and Northstar Ventures to select the ideas which have the most commercial potential and relevance to the challenge and which have the capacity to help us build our economy, strengthen our communities, and bring more and better jobs to the North East.

Andrew Clark, Energy Programme Lead, North East LEP.

The Electric Vehicle Innovation Accelerator is being delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork and ENGIE. Businesses interested in finding out more are invited to attend a workshop on Monday 25 March at the Urban Sciences Building at Newcastle Helix to launch the first wave of challenges and introduce the programme.

Applications for the full programme will open following the launch event. Sign up for the workshop