When: Wednesday 28th March 2018 at 14:00 – 16:30

Where: The Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT

The move to cleaner economic growth is one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time with one estimate stating the UK’s clean economy could grow at four times the rate of GDP. Investing in the energy sector is crucial to the UK economy, it has the potential to create whole new industries whilst transforming existing ones[i].

This event is the public launch of the report of the Regional Energy Policy Commission. Established in 2017 by the Mayor of the West Midlands, its brief has been to identify the best ways for the West Midlands to take advantage of the growing economic opportunities generated by the energy sector worldwide.

Chaired by Sir David King, a panel of expert commissioners from industry, government, academia and policy have been working together for the past six months to identify ways to boost regional competitiveness through the creation of an innovative regional energy market framework.

The West Midlands plans to trial new approaches to energy in pilot Energy Innovation Zones (EIZs) across the region. EIZs will attract private investment and improve the UK innovation eco-system, meeting customer needs using the latest technologies and approaches integrated in new ways. This is aligned with the government’s new Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Strategy, and will be fundamental to effective delivery of a local industrial strategy.

EIZs create a flexible mechanism for local areas to address the energy issues that matter to them, whether this is competitive power for manufacturing; smart energy systems to support mass transition to electric and autonomous vehicles; or effective recycling of waste into heat and power to reduce fuel poverty for households.

The Mayor of the West Midlands secured government backing for innovation in energy systems to be a particular focus for the region through the Devolution Deal, building on the region’s historic strengths, skills and assets in the energy sector. The Commission Report is the next stage in turning this vision and these historic strengths into competitive advantage and reality for the region and the country in the 21st century.

This event will mark the public launch of this report and will provide you with an opportunity to hear from members of the Commission first hand. You will learn about what EIZs are, how you can benefit from them and how the pilots will develop in the West Midlands. During the event, panellists and industry experts will relate the growing global opportunities in the energy sector to regional needs, and show how everyone can benefit from the energy transition that is already underway.

During the event, you will also learn about the Regional Energy Strategy, a strategy that will set out how the region will rise to the Grand Challenge of achieving an effective transition to a modern, clean energy system. This strategy will include actions to take forward the recommendations of the Regional Energy Policy Commission, the work of the Energy Capital partnership in 2017 and consultancy work currently being carried out across the region by Aecom and Arup. The Regional Energy Strategy will also support the national industrial strategy, and once again lead the way in efficient use of energy to deliver better economic and environmental outcomes for everyone.

The event will close at 16:30 and will be followed by a networking session.

Places are limted so be sure to book your place now.

[i] Industrial Strategy – Building a Britain fit for the future, HM Government, 2017, https://www.gov.uk/…/system/…/industrial-strategy-white-paper-web-ready-version.pdf