Latest News | 7 December 2023

Region can lead way in energy transition summit hears

Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd
East Midlands Chamber
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Attendees at a summit organised by East Midlands Chamber have been told that the region has the potential to ‘lead the way’ in the energy transition to net zero.

The recent Midlands Energy Summit heard how the region holds some the key ingredients to make it happen – but businesses need more support to make changes right now.

Speakers from major organisations including Toyota Manufacturing UK, Uniper, National Grid and the East Midlands Freeport gave an insight into some of the clean energy activities happening in the region, including in hydrogen, nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.

John Malpas, senior manager for the environment and carbon neutrality project at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, offered an insight into how the Burnaston-based car manufacturer has made significant reductions in energy use within the plant’s paint shop by making small tweaks.

And a new East Midlands zero carbon innovation centre was also announced by the East Midlands Freeport’s chief executive Tom Newman-Taylor.

Chris Hobson, director of policy and insight at East Midlands Chamber, said: “With three of the big bases for future energy provision – hydrogen, nuclear fusion and nuclear fission – being developed here in the East Midlands, across a range of nationally-critical projects and research that is backed by public and private sector investment, we are leading the way in the energy transition.

“It was fascinating to hear more about some of these plans from the major players in these areas, and the new East Midlands zero carbon innovation centre is an exciting initiative that taps into these strengths while developing new sectors that will deliver further investment and high-quality jobs for our communities.

“But while the future holds plenty of promise, we mustn’t forget about what we can do here and now to make gains in the green agenda.

“Toyota is a great example of a company making small adjustments to save lots of energy and while some of these learnings can be passed down through the supply chain, there is plenty more we can do.

“Small businesses tell us they want to make the necessary changes to decarbonise their operations, and many are already taking huge strides forward, but require more support.

“Our Sustainable East Midlands initiative can signpost businesses to funded programmes, events and best practice.

“More broadly, it’s crucial for businesses, the public sector and universities to work closer together to develop research and roll out new technologies that will help the East Midlands and UK to become a world leader in the net zero economy.”

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