WEST Cumbria is renowned for its nuclear heritage, but Britain’s Energy Coast is drawing on that experience in a bid to diversify the local economy.
BEC is working with a range of partners on a number of key projects that will help West Cumbria to benefit from and capitalise on the transition to a low carbon economy.
It is expected that renewable technologies – such as anaerobic digestion, biomass, solar, tidal and wind power, which are still becoming mainstream in the UK – will be central to creating new products, companies and jobs.
David Jones, BEC’s head of projects, energy and business support, said: “We need to diversify the local economy to ensure we are not wholly reliant on the nuclear sector and clean technologies and renewable energy is an obvious way for us to do that.
“There are opportunities to develop our credibility as a place at the forefront of energy and innovation.
“We are looking at how we can support businesses to align themselves to the opportunities presented by the future demand for clean technology. Over the last few months we have started to develop a portfolio of projects that support the low carbon, energy innovation and clean-tech agenda.”
In June, BEC appointed Swedish consultants BIZCAT to undertake a review of the ‘energy system’ in West Cumbria. BIZCAT will be working closely with local company Westlakes Engineering on the piece of work which will identify how the local energy system could be reconfigured to optimise the energy efficiency of that system, ultimately leading to the creation of new jobs and businesses.
This piece of work should help to identify opportunities for existing businesses to improve their competitive advantage by reducing energy costs. It’s about reducing energy wastage and harnessing untapped or under utilised sources of energy.