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Energy Storage and Resource Management

The West Midlands region is home to numerous world leading circular economy businesses, research projects and industrial ecology expertise. This has much to do with our industrial legacy, track record of innovation and with the fact that it was home to the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme that was are building on. 

Three initial clusters of circular economy activities have been identified in Coventry, Wolverhampton and Birmingham focusing on manufacturing, construction, and food systems. These are featured in the West Midlands Circular Economy Routemap. 

Allied to this, power storage remains one of the vital areas of the shift to zero carbon power generation and battery developments are at the centre of work in this area. The West Midlands has considerable expertise in energy storage – from an R&D perspective Warwick Manufacturing Group has a focus of attention in the sector and was instrumental in ensuring that Coventry became the home of the UK Battery Innovation Centre, as well as expertise at the University of Birmingham’s Energy Institute. Energy storage assets can be used to manage and ultimately reduce peak power demands. Birmingham based Grid Edge are developing data platforms that can analyse and manage smart energy assets to reduce demand and save cost and carbon. 

Key regional circular economy assets: 

  • Through its lifetime, NISP West Midlands has helped divert 4,250,385t of waste from landfill. It has eliminated 83,970t hazardous waste, saved 10,040,326t virgin materials and 13,339,274m3 of water, as well as 5,086,770 CO2e. 
  • Repowering the Black Country proposes to create strategically-selected circular economy zero carbon industrial hubs. A first feasibility study for an initial hub based on aluminium re-processing at Phoenix 10 in Walsall has been completed and the hubs are currently being planned. 
  • A National Brownfield Institute (NBI) is being built on the University of Wolverhampton’s Springfield Campus. The NBI will focus on the practical application of future brownfield regeneration through the work of research teams, leading policy development and commercial services. The NBI will lay the foundations for the delivery of a National Centre for Sustainable Construction and Circular Economy, which will focus on sustainability and the climate change emergency.