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A key market for smart energy systems

The West Midlands pathway to net zero is all about how we decarbonise the buildings we live and work in, the way we travel around our region and the industrial foundations of our economy. The energy systems that will enable this are therefore crucial to our success and as a region we need to harness the value found in the complexities of the energy system. 

The EIZs developed in the region aim to fast-track new clean energy technologies and the smarter infrastructure necessary to give regional businesses a competitive edge. The resulting energy innovation projects are creating opportunities for smart homes, energy efficiency, retrofit and combined heat and power solutions; microgeneration, storage and flexibility services; smart charging, fuel cells and vehicle to grid technologies, as well as identifying ways to achieve industrial decarbonization through BEIS’s industrial cluster mission in the Black Country. 

This activity supports a robust and diverse supply chain, with local specialist companies including Kelvatek (Camlin) producing intelligent monitoring products for grids and the HQ of Quartzelec, manufacturing AC/DC rotating mechanisms and other products for power grids. In themselves, they are also driving innovation and enterprise – such as Cadent’s deployment of biogas through its power system and development of bio-substitute natural gas (Bio-SNG)

Although the region may not be covered in swathes of wind turbines and solar PV, the West Midlands is a major player in the supply chain to the renewables industry with 37,000 people employed in developing the products and technology for the wind, solar and biomass sectors.

Osmium, who provide cutting-edge digital support for wind turbine control, and McCamley’s in Halesowen, designing vertical blade turbines for national and international markets, are just two examples of these pioneering renewable companies.