London Mayor and DECC rally behind 'Cleantech City' plans
Plans to develop a new business district which could transform London into a global centre for cleantech innovation have today (15 March) been wholeheartedly supported by the Mayor of London and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).
In a report released yesterday (15 March), the London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC) unveiled proposals to create a ‘cleantech cluster’ of new low-carbon industries at Old Oak and Park Royal in west London.
The cluster will allow low-carbon start-up businesses unprecedented access to low-cost office space, mentoring services, business development advice, professional services, world-leading academic expertise and many other vital support services.
The vision has received backing the Mayor of London, DECC and Imperial College London - whose new White City Campus would be part of the cluster, housing green businesses in the early stages of their development.
Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy Matthew Pencharz believes the cleantech cluster will have the potential to transform the green economy in London and the wider UK.
“London's thriving green economy is worth over £30bn and will be one of the biggest global growth sectors in the 21st century,” Pencharz said. “We are a leading centre of innovation; with the entrepreneurs, technical ability, academia and engineering to drive the transition to a low carbon economy.
“To bring all of this together in a cluster of excellence, such as at Old Oak and Park Royal, would ensure the city is a world leader in sustainable technology and put us at the forefront in the fight against climate change.”
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd added: “The Paris Agreement marked a significant turning point in tackling global climate change. Technology and innovation will be key to implementing this Agreement, and I want those technical solutions to be home grown in the UK, creating new industries and jobs.
“I strongly endorse the London Sustainable Development Commission’s recommendation to create a cleantech cluster in west London. London’s world-leading technology start-up cluster already rivals San Francisco and New York, and London has the potential to also become a global centre for cleantech innovation.”
The new report follows ex-Energy Minister and LSDC chair Lord Greg Barker’s speech last week which outlined his vision for a cleantech revolution in London. Commenting on the new report, Lord Barker said: “The creation of a world class cluster will also propel London to the forefront of yet another exciting growth sector.
“The development of a major innovation campus by Imperial College at White City and the simultaneous redevelopment of Old Oak and Park Royal into a smart and sustainable district are essential ingredients to put London ahead in the race to find cleantech solutions to the great climate change and environmental challenges of our time.
“Bringing together Europe’s most innovative university and the UK’s largest urban regeneration site has the clear potential to provide a home of global significance and create a destination of choice for green entrepreneurs and innovators.
“Imperial’s White City Campus will be able to help businesses in the acceleration phase of their development so they can quickly move from an innovative idea to an investible cleantech success story.”
The report outlines four key steps to fulfilling West London’s potential to house a cleantech cluster. First, the launch of a Global Cleantech exhibition/festival in 2018; second, the creation of a cleantech accelerator; third, the establishment of a cleantech incubator; and finally, the formation of an early-stage manufacturing centre to help firms demonstrate proof of concept.
The Government recently revamped its commitment to supporting clean tech innovation funding with an announcement that it will more than double DECC’s innovation programme to £500m over this Parliament.
Last month, Scotland’s renewable energy forum Scottish Renewables released a new report that identified six key innovation areas for the UK Government which could propel the nation into a world-leader in energy generation.
Innovation Zone at edie Live
Like this story? You might be interested in entering the edie Live Innovation Zone competition, which promotes and supports innovation in the sustainability space.
Taking place within the Innovation Zone at the edie Live 2016 exhibition on May 17-18 at the NEC Birmingham, this year's Competition is looking for emerging products, technologies and solutions in the sustainability space.