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Smart Energy Systems

Smart Energy System Development

The West Midlands is the leading location in the UK for the deployment of large-scale, place-based energy innovation. Energy Innovation Zones (EIZs), a concept developed in the region by the unique Energy Capital partnership, pioneer smart approaches to energy system development and management. 

The region is home to some of the leading minds nationally in energy systems, including the Energy Systems Catapult and the UK BIC, as well as the Universities of Birmingham, Aston and Warwick, that share their expertise through the Energy Research Accelerator to develop the next generation of energy leaders, and demonstrate low carbon technologies that help shape the future of the UK’s energy landscape.

Energy powers our economy and to decarbonise transport systems and building stocks requires integrated energy planning and investment. To achieve genuine integration, the West Midlands is pioneering collaboration through the establishment of a Net Zero Infrastructure Delivery Board, bringing together those responsible for energy infrastructure in a ‘place’, to plan and target investment to support net zero objectives. The announcement made in March by the Mayor, of the region as a Net Zero Energy Systems Pathfinder, will ensure our learning from the West Midlands is shared with decision makers nationally to help inform the role of ‘place’ in the energy system. 

The West Midlands lies at the heart of the UK’s power distribution network and is home to the HQ of Cadent Gas. Employment in energy distribution far outstrips the rest of the UK with 28x the national proportion involved in electricity transmission and 11x in gas distribution. 

This means that the decisions on investment that will enable the distribution and efficient use of clean energy in the UK as we strive to achieve our net zero goals, will be made here in the West Midlands.