To facilitate the deployment of low carbon energy strategies in urban regeneration schemes, in a way which maximises their impact through integrating renewable energy generation with energy efficiency measures, energy storage and demand side response.
The major regeneration of towns and cities takes place periodically across the NWE region. In an era of required large cuts in carbon emissions, a fresh approach is needed to delivering new mixed-used urban development in a way which minimises carbon emissions and maximises renewable energy generation and energy efficiency, to replace the old energy intensive development with a new future-proofed urban development which is low carbon in terms of its final operating energy requirements, through energy efficient design, renewable energy provision, Demand Side Response (DSR) technologies and demand profile optimisation through the use of energy storage technologies.
Both existing town centres and industrial sites are energy intensive and the normal process of engagement with the local Distribution Network Operator on redevelopment plans tends to result in an increased need for substation infrastructure capacity due to forecast increases in energy demand from the new buildings (which tend to be more spatially concentrated than those being replaced and make more use of electrical technology).
In approaching a major regeneration programme from an energy focus, on-site renewable energy generation can be combined with local smart grids to mitigate this impact as well as other factors such as air quality. Although energy efficient technologies and building regulations requiring certain standards already exist, they tend to be included in regeneration schemes on a minimal basis that merely satisfies legal requirements, rather than optimised in a strategic way to achieve the most low carbon end result for the development. The project will pilot the latter approach on smaller individual sites in the partner cities, allowing designers to optimise energy use in the respective sites ‘from the grid up’.
This project will aim to turn on its head the traditional approach to the design of new town urban areas. This project proposal will focus primarily on publicly owned sites where the decision making is in the hands of the project partner, serving as ‘anchors’ for the wider deployment of low carbon energy strategies into other privately-owned assets. Instead of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies being included on a ‘de minimus’ building-by-building basis to satisfy basic legal requirements, this project proposes that strategic energy provision is itself a fundamental building block dictating the final design of the development as a whole rather than the other way around.
The project will primarily support municipal authorities to work with all stakeholders to create a strategic methodology for the new approach to regeneration.
This will be tested within the life of the project using energy consumption and carbon emissions indicators, and success will be measured relative to both the previous development occupying the site and sites elsewhere of a similar size which have been developed using standard methodology. A quantified baseline and carbon emissions reduction target for the new development will be included in the application. Longer term the lessons learned from the project will help shape large scale regeneration programmes in NWE urban areas, through the sharing of best practice from this project with neighbouring local and regional authorities, and inclusion in local and regional climate change and energy strategies. The project will set the bar for carbon performance in new development, and so incentivise subsequent regeneration projects to adopt the new methodology.
In this way, the Interreg funding will add extra value to funding already committed by public authorities, and enable a transformational approach which will give excellent value for money in terms of the incremental cost of each regeneration scheme as a whole compared to the step change in carbon emissions reduction which this new approach will achieve. The Interreg funding is anticipated to be a high performer in terms of the cost per tonne of CO2 saved.
Benefit for cities/ urban areas: redevelopment of key sites maximising deployment of renewable energy generation and synergetic technologies, absolute reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, enhanced energy security, and reduced energy costs for residents and businesses.
Benefit for territorial development: Modelling a new strategic methodology for urban and post-industrial mixed-use regeneration, with knock-on effects on skills and employment opportunities in the supply chain. Series of exemplar sites in partner cities.
For NWE: will secure the regions in their traditional place as the leading edge of best practice and innovation in terms of industrial and urban development, and result in an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the partner regions.