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Carbon neutral city: Nottingham aims for a new 2028 target

Having been in the energy market for nearly a decade, it was great to recognise a major achievement in our home town of Nottingham at the beginning of the year. Nottingham City Council released an exceptionally positive report on their targets around carbon emissions, alongside plans for future moves. With energy appearing ever more increasingly on the global agenda, it's fantastic to see Nottingham pushing the envelope alongside us in the transition to a more decarbonised, decentralised and digitised energy sector.

Cutting carbon emissions by 39%

With the effects of climate change developing rapidly, Nottingham City Council pledged to cut carbon emissions by 26%, by 2020. This month they released a statement saying they had in fact cut carbon emissions by 39%. Two years earlier than their original target.

Carbon Neutral City commitments

The council announced they have ambitious plans to become the first carbon neutral city in the UK. There are a handful of cities that have made a pledge to become carbon neutral over the next couple of decades. However, what does this look like and what commitments have been made?

Nottingham City Council (NCC) achieved their first carbon emissions target through a variety of avenues. Some of the projects implemented were:

  • One the largest electric bus fleets in the UK, as well as biogas and retrofitted buses
  • The city built and expanded a tram network that runs on renewable power
  • Improved cycling facilities
  • Installing solar panels on 4,500 domestic buildings

The future of the government’s £3.5bn emissions program

Looking forwards, NCC have laid out new plans as part of their next goals. Working to a continue the road towards a carbon neutral city. NCC are looking to:

  • Retrofit 171 buses with technology to reduce emissions
  • Support low emissions taxis
  • Provide a licensing discount to taxi drivers working with electric vehicles (EV’s)
  • Using a £1m grant from the government, add charging points to taxi ranks, add charging points to homes
  • Expand the ‘try before you buy’ initiative with EV’s
  • Funding received to covert NCC’s heavy vehicle fleet to electric eg. Bin lorries

EV Vehicles and energy sources

Naturally energy supply for electric vehicles must come from somewhere and preferably a low-emission source. Alongside NCC’s energy strategy target, they are working towards a 20% energy generation using low carbon sources.

Solving the trilemma

Whilst the three D's of energy have been on the agenda for quite some time now, it's going to take collaboration across the entire industry in order to affect real change. Only through a combined effort by the regulators, investors, and suppliers will we see a paradigm shift in the 'last analogue industry'. Local councils, like Nottingham, play a vital role in setting the agenda for smart cities and driving this positive change from the ground up.