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Energy and clean growth in the Northern Powerhouse

At the start of November, a major two-day event in Hull will bring together energy sector businesses, policy-makers and researchers from across the North. North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chair, Andrew Hodgson, who will be chairing a panel discussion at the event, looks ahead to the Energy & Clean Growth in the Northern Powerhouse conference.

The Energy & Clean Growth conference is the next stage in an ongoing process of collaboration, as we work together with partners across the Northern Powerhouse to showcase the combined energy capabilities of the North, and to illustrate how the North has a vital role to play in tackling global challenges of clean growth.

In late 2017, the Northern Energy Taskforce published the Northern Energy Strategy, with a vision of creating the leading low-carbon energy region in the UK, with an energy economy worth £15 billion per annum and 100,000 green jobs.

And now, the Energy & Clean Growth conference has been organised by the NP11 – the 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships that cover the 76 Local Authorities in the North of England – to shine a spotlight on clean growth, the new technologies being developed here in the North, and the opportunities we have as a region within the energy and clean growth arena.

We know that here in the North East we have fantastic history and a bright future in the energy sector. Our region is home to a globally important offshore energy and subsea technology cluster; we have comprehensive innovation and demonstration assets; and we have partnerships like the North East Energy Catalyst which is focused on accelerating decarbonisation, driving economic growth and delivering on national policy.

But we are not just looking at this on a sub-regional level. It’s important that we also show the breadth of what we have to offer across the wider North and that we make sure the combined capabilities of the North are recognised nationally and internationally.

The conference in Hull will bring together more than a thousand delegates from the energy sector, it will spark conversations and it will bring stronger linkages between the different elements of the energy supply chain. I hope that it will also result in even stronger links between industry and academia, bringing research into new technologies up front and centre.

The timing of this conference is important. Energy is a hugely important part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy and this conference comes at a time when many Local Enterprise Partnerships are in the process of publishing their own Local Industrial Strategies. Discussion and debate like we will see at the Energy & Clean Growth event will influence how energy is positioned within these strategies.

And of course, these discussions are all taking place at a time when we are facing global challenges on clean growth and the growth of industry. The UK Government has committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the Northern Powerhouse has a leading role to play in achieving this aim.

What we can contribute to the energy agenda when we work together is huge and I look forward to making further progress towards our goals for the Northern Powerhouse in November.

Andrew Hodgson, Chair, North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

Energy and Clean Growth in the Northern Powerhouse takes place on 5 and 6 November in Hull. Find out more.