Bristol’s plans to become the first carbon neutral city in the UK have taken a big step forward with the launch of a global search for £1 billion of investment.
City Leap is an ambitious project to deliver a zero-carbon, smart energy city by 2030.
Led by the city council and the council-owned energy company, Bristol Energy, City Leap hopes to partner with another organisation or group of organisations in a variety of innovative ways.
Bristol mayor Marvin Rees said that City Leap is a “decarbonised local energy system that Bristol can be proud of”.
He said: “City Leap is leading the way on carbon reduction, while at the same time addressing important social and economic challenges.
“The inclusion of Bristol Energy is integral to delivering smart energy propositions utilising City Leap’s projects by weaving a number of technologies together, helping to ensure that the company continues to deliver clean energy and social value for local people.”
More than £50m has already been invested in Bristol’s low-carbon and renewable projects since 2012, with the city council cutting its own emissions by 71 per cent since 2005.
The currently loss-making Bristol Energy’s role in City Leap will be to deliver smart energy propositions designed to cut carbon and reduce peak energy demand, with new external investment hoping to significantly reduce its reliance on council funding.
Bristol Energy managing director Marek Majewicz said: “City Leap will help us deliver a sustainable energy company with social value at its heart.
“From community heat networks, to energy innovation in social housing, the substantial investment from the partnership will enable everyone in Bristol to benefit from low carbon, renewable energy projects.
“Bristol Energy is already working on a wide range of innovative projects and we’re looking forward to harnessing low-carbon technologies for the good of our city and our customers.”