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East Midlands Chamber News

Nottingham To Be a World Pioneer for sustainability

Nottingham is set to become a global beacon for sustainability as part of a new wide-scale and pioneering initiative to modernise the urban environment and cut CO2.

The city is one of just nine in Europe – and one of only two in the UK – selected to receive funding for a unique project to improve energy performance, establish new low-carbon transport and implement smart technologies which will be the subject of international research.

Nottingham was chosen for funding due to its healthy track record in delivering green initiatives and the project will build on the city’s existing reputation as one of the cleanest and least car-dependent in the UK.

The project will receive £5m funding from the European Commission and is expected to lead to visits from policymakers and interested experts from around the continent.

The project is led by Nottingham Trent University in partnership with Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham Energy Partnership, Sasie Ltd - a Nottingham-based renewable energy company - and Infohub Ltd - a system solutions SME.

The project, which will last for five years, includes:

  • Transforming an entire neighbourhood of 411 properties in Sneinton with retrofitted external solid wall insulation
  • Fitting those properties with smart meters which provide live data on energy usage and allow the control of heating remotely by smart phone
  • Construction of an innovative low temperature extension to the city's district heating system to provide energy for four blocks of flats
  • Establishing a new tourist route with two electric-powered buses taking visitors on a circular route between Green's Windmill in Sneinton to Wollaton Park via Nottingham Castle
  • A last-mile delivery hub, based in Sneinton, which will involve eight electric vehicles taking small deliveries on behalf of hauliers to minimise the number of lorries entering the city centre
  • The establishment of an electric car rental scheme which will allow people to rent vehicles by the hour from a number of points across the city
  • The insulation of a further nine properties in, a city suburb to a super energy standard

Nottingham’s well established track record of delivering on greener energy initiatives clinched the deal. The city is already home to the UK’s most extensive district heating system, an award-winning green transport network and is currently implementing plans to set up a wholly-owned fully licensed energy company– a UK first.

Project lead Dr Anton Ianakiev, a reader in civil engineering from the university’s School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, said: “Nottingham has a rich heritage of sustainability, with fantastic examples of large-scale projects including the growing tram network and the large district heating system which is well known in civil engineering circles around the world.

“This project will enhance the city’s reputation further by making it a showcase for energy efficiency, low-carbon transport and smart technology integration. It is the first time something like this has been done on such a large scale.

“People from across Europe will be very keen to visit Nottingham and see how these initiatives are being implemented, providing other cities with an intellectual blueprint of how it can be done.”

As part of this project, similar initiatives will take place in the other ‘Lighthouse’ cities of Valladolid in Spain, and Eskisehir in Turkey. To guarantee the replicability of this regeneration model at European level it is planned that Seraing in Belgium and Miskolc in Hungary will be ‘follower’ cities in a future phase.

Comments Councillor David Liversidge, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, Housing and Voluntary Sector at Nottingham City Council, said: “Nottingham is a city with a clear track record of delivery on green energy. Undertaking the construction elements of the project will help us to ensure that the housing in the area delivers real energy savings – a major benefit to residents and to the environment.

“Winning this bid is a landmark vote of wider faith in our city’s ability to act as a flagship UK destination for greener, smarter energy. Our approach has integrated energy supply, greener transport, building modifications and a strategy for supporting the growth of businesses focused on low-carbon. We want to become one of the most self-sustaining cities for energy in Europe – this bid takes us closer to achieving that reality.”

Steve Hale, Director of Property Services at Nottingham City Homes, said: “Nottingham City Homes is excited to have the opportunity to demonstrate innovative heating solutions and higher building fabric energy performance. This project will evidence how much our tenants will benefit from these works and inform how we help mitigate the effect of fuel poverty and rising energy costs.

“The low temperature district heating extension is truly ground breaking and could open up the possibility of extending Nottingham’s heat network to benefit many more homes with lower cost energy. The super insulated properties will show us how we can bring our homes to meet 2050 zero carbon standards and the possibility of zero energy cost for occupiers.”