Creating the foundations for delivering sustainable energy goals in Bristol
25th February 2016
“Climate change hasn’t always spoken to the whole city, but here we have over a hundred people to discuss where Bristol goes with Energy after Bristol 2015.”
Mark Leach, Bristol City Council
Bristol’s year as European Green Capital may now be behind us, but the city’s ambition doesn’t stop here as plans have been announced for Bristol to become carbon neutral by 2050. To support and enrich these plans, Bristol Green Capital Partnership invited local organisations and Partnership Members to the Quarterly Partnership Gathering on Tuesday 23rd February to consult on the freshly drafted Framework for Climate and Energy Security behind the city’s bid to become carbon neutral.
To start off the event, stands showcasing some of Bristol’s pioneering energy projects were open for networking. One of which was Friends of the Earth’s Climate Rising movement to energise and build bigger and more diverse climate actions post COP21.
“The key thing about energy is getting the momentum behind renewables going again. The recent policy changes have been a big blow to renewables but that won’t stop us. We’ll continue campaigning to keep fossil fuels in the ground and encourage institutions to take money out of fossil fuels and into green energy.” Mike Birkin, FOE Regional Campaigner
Organisations share energy initiatives for 2016
Simon Roberts OBE, Chief Executive of Centre for Sustainable Energy, and a recently appointed Director of Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC, welcomed attendees to the event and introduced various speakers who took to the stage to share how their work is supporting Bristol’s target to reduce carbon emissions across the city. Speakers included Dr Andrew Garrad, from the Supervisory Board of DNV GL Energy & Chair of Bristol 2015 Company, Centre for Sustainable Energy on their Smart Energy City Collaboration, Bristol Energy, CHEESE, Bristol Energy Network, Bristol Energy Cooperative, Oxford Instruments and Bristol Green Doors, who all inspired the audience with their ambitious initiatives and projects.
Andrew Garrad was first up to energise the attendees with his take-home message from Paris…“There was a change in nature after COP21 – it really hit home that if we continue as we are, the carbon budget will run out. People are starting to realise they can no longer rely on someone else to take action – we each need to accept our responsibilities and change our actions…Paris was just the beginning.”
Bristol City Council vowed to help homes save energy and money by offering city-wide infrastructure solutions. Mareike Schmidt, the Council’s Energy Service Manager spoke to the crowd; “In the UK, only 2% of heat is distributed by heat networks. In other European cities, its 30%. It’s all about resilience which is why we’re planning to install small-scale heat networks across the city. If you can have your own heat network, you don’t have to rely on anyone else for heat.”
Next up was Peter Haigh, Bristol Energy’s MD who expressed the strong mission statement behind the company; “We believe in a fair, ethical sale of energy for all.” They’re proud to set themselves apart from the rest with an ethos built upon values of fairness and equality, and pledged that all profits go back into Bristol City Council and their customers.
Attendees had the opportunity to hear about initiatives from Bristol Energy Cooperative who are growing Bristol communities’ green energy supply, Easton Energy’s CHEESE project helping people understand how and where they lose energy, and the Centre for Sustainable Energy’s vision on shaping Bristol to be a smart energy city and many more.
Consulting on Bristol’s Energy Framework
The draft document “Our Resilient Future: A Framework for Climate and Energy Security” maps out how Bristol hopes to achieve a series of targets to reduce carbon emissions city-wide through low carbon projects.
Simon Roberts said when they consultation opened: “The strength of Bristol’s Climate and Energy Security Framework is that it builds out of the wide range of initiatives taking place across the city and provides a coherent strategic narrative which explains how they collectively contribute to the city’s goals. That makes it relevant, inclusive, and purposeful.”
The attendees, having done their homework in preparation for the event, split into groups for the consultation exercise that sought to capture how the Framework for Climate and Energy Security could be enriched further and what other activities and future plans should be included. The attendees were given three key questions to discuss:
- What’s already happening to deliver sustainable energy in the city which isn’t reflected in the Draft Framework?
- What’s being planned in the city which isn’t reflected in the Draft Framework?
- What else needs to happen in addition to what’s in the Draft Framework (and the above) to ensure the city meets its carbon reduction goals?
With the help of table hosts, we saw positive conversations emerge as groups collaborated on their thinking and ideas – harnessing their collective knowledge and experience to help ensure the next iteration of the framework reflects as fully as possible all the relevant activity and plans underway across Bristol. It was impressive to see all worksheets eagerly packed with insightful feedback that will now feed directly in to the consultation, and will be shared through the Bristol Green Capital Partnership network.
Thank you to University of Bristol and Anson Rooms for hosting, all of our speakers and stall holders, Centre for Sustainable Energy and Bristol City Council for working with us to support and enhance the Framework, plus our group of table hosts who helped to make the roundtable discussions possible.
Presentations, Part 1: Welcome and Presentations.
Presentations, Part 2: Energy Panel Q&A Interview
Presentations, Part 3: Mark Leach’s presentation on the Bristol City Council’s Framework.
See the first draft of “Our Resilient Future: A Framework for Climate and Energy Security”, and fill in the online survey or to learn more about Bristol City Council head over to their website.
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