The SCR Sustainable Urban Development Strategy is titled “A Programme for Green Growth”
Here are some of its key objectives
“The Centre for Low Carbon Futures calculated that the 2011 SCR energy bill was £3.41 billion per year, and that this would grow to £4.59 billion by 2022 – a £1.18 billion increase. With the annual GVA output of SCR standing at approximately £28bn, energy costs constitute over 10% of economic output; a significant proportion.
Moving toward lower carbon energy generation would bring the following benefits to SCR:
1. Greater control over energy costs. This would provide both business and residents with greater stability, giving them confidence to invest, boosting the economy and supporting job and business growth.
2. Low carbon is a key growth sector for SCR with the SEP setting a target for approximately 12,000 jobs in this sector by 2025.
3. Moving SCR to a position where it has stronger skills in the delivery of low carbon projects would allow for export of these skills both nationally, and internationally. In particular, there is an opportunity to grow this sector as developing economies elsewhere in the world seek to tackle their own decarbonisation challenges.
4. Creation of a low carbon energy ecosystem, that not only generates low carbon electricity, but other products and services such as heat, hydrogen fuel, food and waste processing.
5. Through investment in low carbon energy generation, SCR can make its own contribution to addressing national challenges, namely supporting the UK in meeting the requirements of the Climate Change Act (80% less CO2 emissions by 2050, compared to 1990 levels), keeping the lights on by addressing the energy generation gap, and achieving greater security over our energy supply.”
“Sheffield City Region (SCR) vision is to use the opportunity of ESIF to help create a stronger and bigger private sector that can compete in global and national markets. The City-Region LEP has consulted widely and engaged partners and stakeholders from all sectors in the development and implementation of this strategic aim and approach. SCR’s priorities for the South Yorkshire based SUD flow from this goal and all activities must delivery associated outcomes. Achieving sustainable development in the city-region, which has an important industrial base, requires urgent action to provide attractive investment locations to ensure greater resource efficiency and to enhance the resilience of its energy supply and systems.
Businesses including SMEs and larger firms in the city-region share the challenge to increase their uptake of resource efficiency measures and low carbon technology, processes and systems. This challenge is partly due to a real or perceived ‘choice’ as to whether to invest in these sustainability measures or, alternatively to target investment into other innovations that may also offer to make them more competitive or effective. A holistic approach is therefore needed at targeted locations to deliver integrated infrastructure investment. Thus, SCR intends to use the opportunity of ERDF and associated/complementary investment opportunities to help resolve these opportunities and tensions. This is why the SUD includes ‘Complementary Actions’ for low carbon development to stimulate vibrant, sustainable growth.
Green growth is as much about job creation and commercial advantage as about de-carbonisation. From the Employment Forecast in section 2.4, potential for growth in low carbon Industries is high, and the jobs that would be created present a high potential GVA for the SCR. Both universities in Sheffield have world renowned research and business development programmes focusing on sustainability, providing a ready supply of potential employees and business opportunities. With the UN forecasting over 60 million more jobs worldwide to be developed in the low carbon economy over the next 20 years, South Yorkshire, and indeed the wider SCR, is well placed to be at the forefront of these developments.
Economic development and sustainability are therefore viewed as complementary to one another, due to the opportunities of developing reliable (and more locally derived) sources of renewables, reduced energy prices (and less severe price fluctuations) and, of utmost importance, greater energy/resource efficiency.
3.2 Whole Place Low Carbon Solutions
South Yorkshire is heavily reliant on readily available, cheap energy supplies, particularly in the heavy manufacturing sector (for instance arc furnaces used in steel production). Economic activity in these areas can be supported through actions to reduce/meet energy needs elsewhere in the local grid, by supporting greater use of energy efficiency measures, by developing local renewable energy sources / supply-chains, and by maximising the benefits of compact, low carbon urban development. The city-region’s ambitions for growth in private sector employment are complementary to this goal . The SUD requires targeted investment to achieve a demonstrable impact via transformative projects with a real potential to improve the delivery of energy efficiency and climate change mitigation outcomes, preferably alongside wider resource efficiency measures.
It is in this context an integrated package is considered most likely to generate to greatest impact on Green House Gas emissions. Interventions that tackle sustainable multimodal urban mobility together with design, energy and smart grids within a coordinated approach are critical.
The SUD is particularly keen to support flagship schemes that will demonstrate the benefits of investing in integrated low carbon solutions. This could include high-profile, innovative developments to deliver attractive investment locations and enabling infrastructure within, including (but not exclusively):
• Investments in local/regional smart grid demonstration projects, including validation and solving system integration issues.
• Sustainable energy action plans for urban areas, including public lighting systems, smart metering and distribution through smart grids.
• Investments in combined heat and power from renewable sources.
• Investments to encourage the adoption of renewable technologies.
• Investments in actions aimed at improving the capacity at local level to develop and implement integrated and sustainable transport strategies and plans.
• Investments in actions aimed at introducing innovative environmentally-friendly and low-carbon technologies (for example, alternative fuel stations or charging points);
• Investments in actions aimed at developing innovative and multi-modal transport services (for example, intelligent transport systems for travel information and planning, traffic and demand management, smart ticketing, multimodal integrated datasets or cooperative systems);
• Innovative transport pricing and user charging systems;
• Cycle paths, walkways and waterways (green and blue infrastructure) where part of an integrated approach to GHG reductions.
Whilst such interventions are likely to be delivered under Investment Priority 4e, Low Carbon interventions that sit outside of the integrated ‘whole place solution’ may still be considered but will need to demonstrate an innovative approach wider benefits for the SCR economy. Such interventions would also be considered under Investment Priorities 4a, 4b, 4d and 4f.
In addition the SUD is looking to support actions that contribute to our Low Carbon agenda that relate to property development as part of the whole place solution. As such the SUD will also look to address the impact of commercial buildings, particularly in urban industrial brownfield locations. Support for developers to ‘do better’ will be considered providing funding to establish exemplars of property to attract high value users with BREEAM ratings exceeding Excellent and targeting Outstanding (Investment Priority 3c).
Given our SUD targets those areas of which have been adversely impacted by de-industrialisation which has left a legacy of brownfield sites, energy inefficiency, isolated and deprived communities the holistic place approach also extends the benefits of low carbon growth into local communities, providing opportunities for jobs and energy efficient growth through local supply chain support.
This approach through Investment Priorities 3a and 3c will enable the benefits of capital investment to support the generation of local businesses and growing SME capacity in the low carbon sector including the development of community based businesses and social enterprises.”