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Energy Innovation Zones

Energy Capital is WMCA’s energy delivery body and the smart energy innovation partnership for the West Midlands, facilitating and co-ordinating collaborative public-private investment projects across the region. Working with local communities, public bodies and national government Energy Capital aims to create an attractive and creative environment for companies that want to become part of the global low carbon and smart energy transition. 

The Energy Capital partnership developed the concept of Energy Innovation Zones, designed to be replicable in cities and towns across the UK. EIZs: integrate low carbon technologies; develop the business models and infrastructure needed to support new approaches to clean energy; as well as overcome the regulatory barriers necessary for them to flourish. They aim to stimulate local clean energy innovation and drive productivity within the region, exports and growth. 

With support from InnovateUK, BEIS and Ofgem, we hope that EIZs can also offer a controlled environment in which innovators of all types could trial new services, technologies and business models, with the aim of accelerating energy solutions in areas such as transport and low carbon buildings. The Zones could also provide a route to market for the smart local energy system innovations developed through the UK’s ‘Prospering from the Energy Revolution’ programme.

The West Midlands is also host to a range of energy innovators including:

  • The Energy Research Accelerator involving Warwick University, Aston University and University of Birmingham
  • Birmingham Energy Institute at University of Birmingham
  • The Manufacturing Technology Centre
  • The Energy Systems Catapult
  • Tyseley Energy Park in Birmingham
  • The Energy & Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University
  • Grid Edge, a spin out company of Aston University
  • and many more.

Investment Proposition:

National Centre for the Decarbonisation of Heat - led by University of Birmingham, the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Energy Systems Catapult and the Energy Research Accelerator, the Centre will integrate cutting-edge research and innovation to enable the rapid scaling up of manufacturing, skills and deployment of heat solutions, all necessary to meet carbon reduction targets.