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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.