The future is here, and the reality that we are becoming stretched beyond our energy (and how long before our food, schools, health needs).
With ever increasing energy needs to power our TV's, computers, phone chargers, fridges, freezers, always on sky boxes, games machines, heating, cooking and soon recharging our cars for those lucky few who can escape the petrol and diesel trap (I say escape, they can only travel about 50 miles and hope they can park up near a charging point).
With that in mind, Stoke-on-Trent City Council are announcing the beginnings of a new energy plan (just a plan, nothing sold as we and every other city should have been doing years ago)
Stoke-on-Trent City Council says it " plans to increase its energy security and reduce its dependence on the national grid."
Stoke-City-Council’s cabinet has approved the setting up of a holding company ready to light the green touch paper on an energy revolution.
It’s a particularly important move as national power body Ofgem yesterday predicted a significant rise in the chances of power blackouts in the years ahead due to power supply uncertainty.
With the UK facing a potential energy supply crisis in the next decade, Stoke-on-Trent’s growing advanced materials manufacturing success story faces a major challenge.
So the City Council plans are even more important in the mission to transform the city’s industrial future and put it at the front of the pack for future manufacturing investment.
That’s why the City Council is developing the Powerhouse Central project, working with Staffordshire County Council and the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, as part of the economy boosting City Deal approach to Government.
Powerhouse Central aims to reduce the city’s energy dependency on the national grid, with a raft of schemes to exploit every opportunity to develop new local energy solutions and supplies.
Setting up a holding company means that Stoke-City-Council can be light on its feet when working with the private sector to source funding to make its plans come to fruition.
It also means that the city is determined to protect the interests of local people and local business by keeping as much control as possible in keeping energy and profits to benefit local business and the local business.
Projects under investigation include:
· Creating networks to share surplus heat and power between businesses and for other commercial and domestic needs too.
· Tapping into hot water power (geothermal energy) in old mine workings
· Using organic waste to generate methane gas
· Developing bioenergy using local woodchip to generate power.
· Other natural asset opportunities where they arise.
Council cabinet member for Green Enterprise Andy Platt said the company was the first step in plugging the city into a bright new era.
“Some of Europe’s most creative advanced materials companies are right here in Stoke-on-Trent delivering the components that are building the world economy. From automotive and aeronautic component technologies through to medical and craft ceramics, Stoke is building an international reputation once again.
“Ensuring we can keep the power on in the years ahead is a vital element of securing our success. Local energy supplies will help protect the 26,000 jobs already employed in manufacturing locally.
“And this extra injection of energy security will help support our drive for City Deal which will deliver thousands more new jobs in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire by making the region a honey pot for international industrial investors.