A bold new initiative to position the West Midlands as the UK’s centre of clean energy technology is launching today at a VIP event hosted by the University of Birmingham.

The ‘Energy Capital’ initiative, which brings together key partners from academia, industry and the public sector, aims to attract investment in smart energy technologies, research and infrastructure to deliver a wide range of economic benefits across the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) region.


At today’s launch event, leaders from industry, politics and academia will discuss their collective ambition for energy in the region.

Highlights include:

  • Professor Sir David King, Special Representative for Climate Change, Chairman of the Future Cities Catapult and former governmental Chief Scientific Adviser, to deliver a keynote speech on Mission Innovation, the global initiative to dramatically accelerate global clean energy innovation
  • Petteri Huusko, Energy Expert from the Helsinki Environmental Department, to discuss successful city energy management in Helsinki
  • Mike Crone, Director of Purchasing and Property at Jaguar Land Rover and Director C&WLEP, on the need for competitive, clean power to support growth in the West Midlands
  • Matthew Rhodes, chair of the Energy Capital Steering Group and Director of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, to present the Energy Capital vision and work plan
  • The event also features a hustings for West Midlands mayoral candidates, chaired by Dr Simon Slater, Associate Director of Sustainability West Midlands.

Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute at the University of Birmingham, says:
‘We are proud to be hosting this launch event, which marks the creation of a single voice for the West Midlands on energy.’

Chair of the Energy Capital Steering Group, Matthew Rhodes, says:
‘Building on the region’s excellent academic base, industrial heritage and track record of government investment, the Energy Capital initiative will provide a powerful and exciting new mechanism to support economic growth, ensuring that citizens and businesses of all sizes benefit from global energy system transformation.’

For more information, contact Liz Bell in the University of Birmingham Press Office on +44(0)121 414 2772.

The Energy Capital partnership is built on a strong foundation of capability, expertise and know-how, and includes:
Aston University; University of Birmingham; Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership; Birmingham City Council; Energy Systems Catapult; Birmingham Energy Institute; Energy Research Accelerator; Coventry City Council; Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership; West Midland Combined Authority; Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.

In addition to its founding partners, Energy Capital works closely with a number of corporate supporters, including:
Climate-KIC; Encraft; Jaguar Land Rover; National Grid; Severn Trent; Sustainability West Midlands; Webster and Horsfall; Western Power Distribution; Westley Group.

www.energycapital.org.uk / enquiries@energycapital.org.uk
Twitter: @EnergyCapitalUK