Tag Archives: Net Zero

£424m for clean energy in Bristol: 1,000 new jobs

Today’s blog is from Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Waste, and Energy and
Labour Councillor for Southmead ward.

Decarbonising Bristol by 2030 is likely to be one of the most challenging infrastructure overhauls in the history of our city.

City Leap will play an essential role in this, it’s an ambitious energy project that will accelerate investment in our city, moving Bristol forward on our journey to net zero.

The scale of investment that is needed to make our city carbon neutral and climate resilience will likely total at least £10 billion.

We need to transform the way we generate, distribute, store and use energy at scale across our whole city. 

£1 billion of international investment to accelerate change

The council has invested nearly £100 million in decarbonisation projects over the last five years, which includes completing the construction of Castle Park Energy Centre that houses England’s largest water source heat pump. However, we need to rapidly increase the scale and pace of low carbon delivery to be able to meet our targets.

Our City Leap Energy Partnership with Ameresco Limited and Vattenfall Heat UK will secure a twenty-year framework to enable over £1 billion of international investment into low carbon energy infrastructure such as solar PV, wind generation, zero carbon heat networks, smart energy systems, and other energy efficiency measures.  

How will City Leap keep us on track for carbon neutrality?

In the first five years, the City Leap Energy Partnership’s contribution to carbon neutrality will include: 

  • Installing over 182MW of zero carbon energy generation and delivering over 140,000 tonnes of carbon savings for Bristol;
  • Expanding Bristol’s Heat Network – a network of underground pipes that will provide local businesses and residents with reliable, affordable low-carbon heat from sustainable sources, such as taking heat from water, ground or air, reducing Bristol’s reliance on fossil fuels;
  • Installing solar panels and low carbon heating systems such as air source heat pumps at local schools;
  • Supporting the decarbonisation of the council’s social housing by introducing measures such as better insulation, solar panels and heat pumps to achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘C’ or better;
  • Boosting council and community-owned renewable energy projects across the city such as wind turbines and solar farms;
  • Offering decarbonisation support to public sector properties such as hospitals and schools to support Bristol’s wider efforts to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The partnership will also bring £61.5 million of social value to our city over the first five years, after we secured an initial £424 million of investment, with the creation of more than 1,000 new jobs, apprenticeships, and work placements.

Is this future possible to achieve?

Reducing carbon emissions and tackling the climate emergency is a huge challenge for everybody, but through our City Leap Energy Partnership, we’ve secured the funding, knowledge, and resources to accelerate our progress.

Collaborative action will usher a period of extraordinary innovation, investment, and growth – helping to make the just transition to net zero and securing Bristol’s reputation as a leading clean energy city for many years to come.

City Leap is a big deal for Bristol – it’s the most ambitious and exciting energy project that we have embarked on to accelerate clean energy investment and is a big step towards decarbonising our whole city and on our journey to net zero. 

Marvin and a small group of people wearing high visibility vests, stand on scaffolding in a construction site. The Bristol City leap logo is in the top right of the image, the Mayor of Bristol logo is in the bottom left.

Reflecting on Bristol Education Partnership’s ‘Towards Net Zero’ Event

An image of the 'Towards net Zero' event in Bristol City hall.

Speaking at Bristol Education Partnership’s ‘Towards Net Zero’ event at City Hall yesterday was a great experience. Students and staff from ten Bristol secondary schools came together to share progress and plans on how to reach net zero by 2030.

The Bristol Education Partnership is a collaboration between fourteen of Bristol’s state and independent schools, Bristol City Council and the city’s two universities, working together to tackle disadvantage.

Student voice is a key part of the partnership, there are active Student Partnership Board representatives from all partner schools. They contribute to decision making on projects and create activities for the partnership to undertake.

I had the pleasure of speaking with some of these students at the event yesterday, they showed the pop-up exhibition, showcasing the work from their schools.

It was encouraging to see the positivity and passion these young people had towards the current climate and ecological crises. They were empowered to make a difference in their communities, the city and in the curriculum.

I enjoyed hearing about the diverse range of projects happening at schools across Bristol, including how Orchard have rewilded some of their grounds and created a working garden and compost. How Fairfield’s eco team are working with Sustrans to encourage more walking and cycling to school, Cotham School’s wildlife conservation group, and St Brendan’s tree planting mission, which has already planted 60 trees.

One of the billboards showing the schools work towards net zero.

At the event I was joined by Jonathan Clear, the Department for Education’s Chief Sustainability Officer, who was clearly impressed with the work of the Bristol Education Partnership. He said “I’d like to say a huge thank you to you all, it’s clear Bristol is doing so much as a community, it’s inspiring to the rest of the country. I was blown away talking to you school leaders, and how much they care about the students and the planet, it gives me a huge amount of faith”

Bristol’s Dr Mya-Rose Craig, the superb environmental activist and author ‘Birdgirl’, spoke to the students via video link from her university, telling the young people “keep doing what you’re doing, your voices will be heard, you can and will make a difference”.

The Bristol Education Partnership is one of a small number of state/independent partnerships across the country. This work is innovative in encouraging collaboration across the two sectors – with staff and students working together at many different levels, leveraging extensive support from university partners. 

The climate challenge and other projects run by the BEP has attracted well known speakers and visitors from across the UK and from overseas. Yesterday we were joined by representatives from the University of Bristol, Centre for Sustainable Energy, Resource Futures, Sustainable Hive, Sustrans and more.

As the first local authority to declare a climate emergency, we’re leading the way nationally in a commitment to net zero. The One City Climate Strategy was developed to tackle both the climate and ecological crisis together, as a city. It was truly inspiring to watch this collaboration between key partners in the city and see the fruition of work from the partnership.

I want to extend my thanks to all the students and teachers, schools and partners in the Bristol Education Partnership for sharing their ideas, and for their continued work to make their schools net zero. I also want to thank Burges Salmon for the support they have showed for the event, it has been a great success for all the students and partners.

More Information:

Read more about the Bristol Education Partnership

Find out what other climate action the council is taking

Get inspired to take climate action at the Bristol Climate Hub