£2.75m boost for Peterborough City Council's pursuit of Net Zero

Peterborough City Council has been awarded £2.75m funding from Innovate UK to lead a scheme called Peterborough Accelerated Net Zero (PANZ), joining the Net Zero Living Pathfinders programme as one of the seven projects to receive the highest level of funding as Demonstrator projects.

As part of the PANZ project, the council will work with communities and partners including Energy Systems Catapult, Cambridgeshire County Council, Nordic Energy, edenseven and PECT, to develop a series of Net Zero delivery plans.

A platform will be developed that considers technical data alongside social, demographic and economic data to develop delivery plans that maximise likelihood of success. Using the tools developed in the PANZ project, financial mechanisms, engagement activities and training plans will be tailored to each project to enhance the chance of adoption of the net zero technology.

Peterborough was one of the first cities in the UK to adopt a Local Area Energy Plan which set out the pathway to reach Net Zero. It considered the current and future energy demands of heating, electricity and transport to predict what is likely to be required across low carbon heating, electricity network capacity and electricity generation.

The PANZ project pioneers an approach to take Local Area Energy Planning to the next stage, developing delivery plans that are tailored to the needs of the community in which they take place. The system will support the council to select projects that also deliver upon the council’s many other aspirations for the city.

The system will encourage financial bundling of projects to create portfolios which will attract private investment, accelerating action in Peterborough. The tool will also enable the council to track the progress and impact of city-scale projects, making sure time can be well spent on the most needed projects.

The project will put the community voice at its centre, ensuring that we listen to and understand the barriers and drivers for our residents. By designing the system in this way, we will maximise our chances to bring projects from paper to real life, not only delivering carbon reductions and supporting Peterborough to become a Net Zero city but also driving healthier lives, saving money and developing our green skills market. The resulting Net Zero delivery plans will see Peterborough become a leading city in the pathway to Net Zero.

The consortium recognises the critical role local authorities play in decarbonising the UK economy and are delighted to create a cross functional team, equipped to deliver immediate actions for the local economy, as well as supporting the efficient future management of Net Zero projects. Peterborough City Council will lead the project, ensuring that it listens to local residents, businesses and community groups and can support the council’s decision-making process.

Energy Systems Catapult is an independent research and technology organisation whose mission is to accelerate Net Zero energy innovation. Bringing its experience in consumer engagement and business model innovation, Energy Systems Catapult will have a key role in the development of the demonstrator projects relating to rural heat pumps and district heating.

Councillor Gavin Elsey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Climate Change said: “I am thrilled to see Peterborough leading the way in taking city-scale decarbonisation plans forward. It is essential that we recognise the diverse communities of Peterborough and design solutions that truly fit their needs.”

Tom Crawford from Energy Systems Catapult said: “The Catapult is excited to be part of the Peterborough Accelerated Net Zero Project, building on our delivery of their Local Area Energy Plan and input into Phase 1 of the Innovate UK Net Zero Living programme. We are keen to support the success of the project in its aim to develop a system that truly supports the needs of the community, and which can aid the decision making of local authorities to enable, accelerate and advance decarbonisation projects’.

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