North East England Chamber of Commerce has called on the UK Government to support the region’s potential to be a world leader in energy production as part of its ‘levelling-up’ policy.
Chamber members Northumbrian Water, EDF Energy, and Lynemouth Power, a biomass facility, all contributed to the Chamber report. Expertise from these three companies included generating power from waste and biomass, including treated sewage.
The detailed report being sent by the Chamber to the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy sets out clearly where and how the North East could use new and developing technologies to attract substantial investment.
“We have an unrivalled base on which to build a global energy sector right across our region,” said Rachel Anderson, Chamber assistant director of policy. “However, there is an urgent requirement for the government to set out a comprehensive and funded plan for replacing ageing energy generation capacity.”
Graham Southall, Northumbrian Water’s group commercial director, commented: “We are proud to be the first and only water company in the country to use 100% of our sewage sludge to generate renewable energy through our green power stations at Howdon and Bran Sands, and to have England’s first hydroelectric plant of its kind at Kielder.”
Anderson added: “The logistics sector is also of prime importance to us developing our energy sector and well-equipped deep ports on the Tyne and Tees with proximity to the Dogger Array mean that industrial clusters have developed well.
“We now need a government strategy to give certainty to investors so they know our future plans as a country and direction of travel in this fundamentally important industry.”