Sir David King and a panel of expert commissioners from industry, academia and policy met in the heart of Black Country to continue their work on the West Midlands Regional Energy Policy Commission.

During this second witness session, the Commission reviewed the current energy market space and made considerations for how the supply, demand and consumption of energy may change across varying sectors in the near future. Further discussions then went on to explore what future challenges may arise within the energy market, before then considering the advantages and opportunities the proposed Energy Innovation Zones (EIZ’s) could offer when facing these challenges. The environmental, economic and societal benefits these EIZ’s were also considered, this was followed by a discussion to establish the potential scope and capability of these EIZs across the region.

This session provided a platform for witness organisations to present their innovative technologies and discuss the current obstacles faced when trying to improve energy efficiency. Presenters at the session included; Tom Westley, from Black Country LEP and Westley Group, Patrick Allcorn, Department for Business, Innovation & Industrial Strategy; Jon Berry, Western Power; Philip Farrell, UK Central; Shivali Mathur, Daikin; Russell Park, Centrica; and David Pickering, Cadent.

The next witness session will be taking place on Monday 20th November at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in London. The Commission look forward to welcoming the likes of Birmingham City Council, National Grid and Ofgem to join the discussions.