The LEP urges organisations to take advantage of support for low carbon projects 

The Energy Accelerator offers funding and advice on schemes which help tackle the climate emergency

4 March 2020

Time is running out to take advantage of funding and support available from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority for projects which help tackle the climate emergency. The Energy Accelerator is the first programme of its kind in the UK and is designed to help low carbon and energy efficient projects become a reality where they might otherwise not have been completed due to a lack of capacity, expertise or funding. 

It is one of many projects being funded by the LEP and the Combined Authority as part of their drive to create a net zero carbon Leeds City Region by 2038 at the latest, with significant progress by 2030. 

The Energy Accelerator supports projects in three key areas: street lighting, district heat networks, and energy efficiency or renewable energy. To qualify, projects must meet a certain set of criteria and be completed by July 2021.

To date, the Energy Accelerator is providing technical support and funding to at least 14 low carbon and energy efficient projects across the Leeds City Region including district heat networks in Bradford, Halifax and Leeds, and a project to install solar panels at the York Teaching Hospital car park.  

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the LEP, said:“The Energy Accelerator is a fantastic project and is one of many we have which support the Leeds City Region’s ambitious to be a net zero carbon by 2038 at the latest. 

"The programme is already supporting a really exciting range of projects which, collectively, will help to reduce the carbon footprint of our region. 

“But time is running out so we’re urging organisations to contact us to see how we can help bring their ideas to fruition.” 

The Energy Accelerator is funded through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion-plus package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region – and the European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA)a joint initiative by the European Investment Bank and the European Commission. It is co-funded by the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Union.  

The Energy Accelerator aims to lever in over £120 million of capital investment and save over 25,000 tonnes of carbon annually. It will also help to create new jobs, allow access to low cost energy as well as attracting future inward investment. 

The Energy Accelerator is delivered in partnership with Turner & Townsend, Sweco and The Carbon Trust.  

Clare Wood, Director at Turner & Townsend, said:We have enjoyed working on the Energy Accelerator project and it has been a great step forward in terms of providing support to enable low carbon and energy saving projects to get off the ground.  This is a fundamental source of funding in supporting the climate change agenda.   

“The front-end funding of projects is a fresh and welcome approach to supporting the feasibility of projects which otherwise wouldn’t have been progressed. We have particularly enjoyed working with a wide range of stakeholders in West Yorkshire and are excited to see how we progress this programme and build upon it to support more projects in the future.” 

Colin Macdonald, Technical Director at Sweco UK, said: “West Yorkshire is setting the example in how to deliver renewable and energy efficient infrastructure and the Energy Accelerator programme is playing a vital role in driving developments across the Leeds City Region.  

“We’re proud to support the Energy Accelerator programme as technical partners, and we look forward to continue providing the engineering knowledge to optimise, plan and implement low carbon solutions for the region’s ten councils to help tackle the climate emergency.” 

David Reilly, Director Cities and Regions at the Carbon Trust, said: “The Energy Accelerator has been designed to overcome the challenges that can face projects as they move from concept stage to full implementation. We are pleased to be working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to deliver heat network projects at scale. Alongside the other areas being addressed this will not only drive economic growth but also decarbonisation across the region.”