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Birmingham imports in the region of 22,800 GWhr of energy per year costing the city’s population and businesses over £1.5bn, with costs predicted to rise along with fuel prices over the coming years.
Without action and with the expected growth in Birmingham’s population, our demand for energy will impact on our future environment and our quality of life.
Birmingham, like every other city in the UK is reliant upon imported fossil fuels for the generation of power, heat (hot water and steam) and transport fuels.
For us to become the first sustainable Global City we need to dramatically increase our deployment in low carbon energy generation technologies, which will cut across all of our targets relating to commercial and industrial (C&I), domestic and transport emissions, and improved energy security.
In addition to the wider national and international climate change policy framework, the UK has signed up to the European Renewable Energy Directive, which sets a target of 15% of all energy generated to be sourced from renewable sources by 2020.
Each low carbon generation technology has its advantages and disadvantages dependent upon a range of factors. However, overall the benefits of renewable energy within the city include reduced carbon emissions, energy security and the opportunity to reduce fuel poverty by giving local people access to affordable warmth.
Low carbon energy can also stimulate growth by reducing energy bills for business, increasing opportunities in delivering sustainable energy and improving air quality and the environment.
In 2005 we published a Sustainability Action Plan, a copy of which is below.
Birmingham City Council is part of an award winning Combined Heat and Power scheme which provides highly efficient energy by utilising heat, normally a by-product of energy generation. The cities scheme is the fastest growing in the UK, with the Council House, ICC, Aston University and Birmingham Children’s Hospital among the buildings benefitting from more efficient energy.