Unlocking Clean Energy in Greater Manchester

‘Unlocking Clean Energy in Greater Manchester’ (UCEGM) is a pioneering project that will deliver a number of renewable schemes across the city region and create a blueprint that can be replicated in other regions across the UK aiming for Net Zero carbon emissions.

Energy Systems Catapult, in partnership with five Greater Manchester local authorities – Manchester, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport and Wigan – has secured £8.6m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to deliver the project.

The Opportunity

The three-year £17.2m UCEGM project delivers and implements actions and priorities from the Local Industrial Strategy and the Manchester Combined Authority Five-Year Environment Plan, and it will contribute towards the 2024 goals set out within the Whole System Smart Energy Plan for Greater Manchester.

UCEGM aims to contribute 22% of the renewable energy generation target set out in the 5-year plan as a step towards the regions aspiration to be carbon neutral by 2038.

The Project

UCEGM is split into two workstreams:

  1. The first workstream is focused on delivering the renewable energy schemes across Greater Manchester.
  2. The second workstream is focused on developing routes to market for further projects that will be less reliant on grant funding.

Workstream 1

Will capitalise on under-utilised council-owned sites and buildings, to develop:

Target Outputs

10 MW new renewable energy generation capacity – 22% of 2024 target for new capacity in Greater Manchester.

8,881 MWh annual generation of clean electricity from renewable sources.

3,134 tCO2 annual reduction in carbon emissions across Greater Manchester.

Generating electricity locally to reduce long-term costs for local authorities.

Workstream 2

Led by Energy Systems Catapult, the UCEGM project will focus on the development of innovative new business models to maximise the value from the electricity generated, for example by taking advantage of regulatory changes, or utilising flexibility between clean energy assets distributed across the city as part of Manchester’s emerging Local Energy Market. The aim of Workstream 2 is to create a stronger business case for investment to help bring forward more projects in the future with less reliance on grant funding.

In order to do this, the Catapult will work with partners in Greater Manchester to

  • Develop and test outline business model approaches,
  • Assess costs, benefits, risks, opportunities,
  • Design and validate business model in detail for most promising option(s), and
  • Support adoption of the model.

European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £8,616,721 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit: European Growth Funding.

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