Building An Energy Strategy For Cumbria

Building an energy strategy for Cumbria

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Building an energy strategy for Cumbria

  • Publish Date: Posted 22 days ago
  • Author: Marketing Team

In May the Cumbria Distributed Energy Strategy was released, a study by EY commissioned by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, with funding by North-West Net Zero Hub. The study’s purpose was to identify the region’s capability to explore renewable energy and other alternative power generation techniques – and to understand the potential opportunities within the region.

Several renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, are already well established, but Cumbria’s broad and changing landscape provides a challenge to ensure the region continues to maintain a sustainable energy supply. With many residents living in rural locations, localised solutions may be more beneficial, whilst protected areas, including the Lake District National Park, make the planning stage of introducing new renewable energy projects much lengthier and more sensitive than in residential areas.

Anyone who has visited Cumbria and it’s stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, will know that the region experiences a wide range of weather conditions, seemingly at any one time. From glorious sunshine, choppy boat trips and windy walks in the hills and mountains, it all means that the region has the potential to develop more green energy alternatives to produce power.


Understanding the green energy options in Cumbria

Potential is precisely what the report was commissioned to understand by identifying the best options to prioritise - based on a number of factors including the likelihood of receiving planning permission, the cost to construct and operate, and the suitability for local residents.


Driving the benefits of a distributed energy mix

Decentralising energy supply would allow Cumbria to become more resilient – helping to better manage rural locations through localised smaller energy production techniques that provide a counter-balance to the national grid supply.

The study focused on onshore wind; tidal; wave; solar PV (photovoltaics); deep geothermal; heat networks; bioenergy and hydropower.

You can find out more about each of these energy generation techniques and what the study found about their suitability for Cumbria in our related blog.


Building on the region’s nuclear heritage to drive green energy

Cumbria energy production has a long-history, with Calder Hall marking the UK’s first nuclear power station when it opened in 1956.

Over the decades, nuclear expertise in the region has vastly grown, and the construction and subsequent decommissioning of Sellafield has provided a large number of jobs within the region.

Generations of family members have secured a wide range of skills and expertise working across the nuclear supply chain, so the introduction of more potential energy projects across the region could provide even more openings for people to secure future work in engineering. Together with the continued need for highly skilled workers on Sellafield, it provides a wealth of job opportunities that will allow people to find rewarding work in their local area, without needing to consider relocation. Of course, lucrative renewable energy projects also provide the opportunity for skilled workers from outside the region to move their families to Cumbria, providing the potential for upskilling whilst giving them an opportunity to experience the local sense of community and panoramic views.


Creating opportunities within the supply chain

The variety of renewable energy options within the report will also allow businesses up and down the energy supply chain to benefit from additional commercial opportunities. Diversifying into complementary energy sectors where existing expertise can easily be put to good use will allow businesses to grow their revenue streams.

From a recruitment perspective, at NRL we have of course been helping engineering and energy companies manage the peaks in employment requirements to support projects for over four decades. By understanding more about an organisation’s future growth plans we’re able to suggest the best workforce solutions that incorporates the hiring of key permanent positions, and temporary roles to ensure project deadlines can be met.

For any businesses interested in finding out more about how we can support them with their workforce planning, get in touch with our Egremont team.