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WSP chosen to provide blueprint for the decarbonisation of Liverpool

Engineering consultants WSP have been appointed to lead the way in developing an energy strategy for the city of Liverpool to ensure its a more sustainable place to live by preparing the region for the increased uptake of electric vehicles and greater efficiency in homes.

Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have made the appointment as they look to draw upon from the consultancy’s specialist sustainable places team as well as expertise from its transport and power networks teams, with more than 170 members of staff based in the city.

To help inform the strategy and support ambitions to substantially reduce carbon emissions over time, WSP is using a specially developed ‘city region energy model’. The model will be used to profile future energy use up to 2040 by estimating and quantifying the impact of both national policies and local actions.

Joe Chambers, principal energy consultant at WSP in Liverpool: “The UK energy landscape is changing faster than ever before with new technologies and business models having a profound impact on the whole energy system. Liverpool City Region is well placed to benefit from this and has great natural assets including offshore wind in Liverpool Bay and the energy potential of the tidal resource. It also has a fantastic local-skills base and more than 1,400 companies that already are part of the low carbon sector employing 22,000 people, contributing £2bn to the regional economy.”

The strategy may ultimately be adopted as guidance by the metro mayor Steve Rotheram who looks to fulfil his ambition to make the region carbon-neutral by 2040. Part of his vision to achieve this is to build a £3.5bn tidal barrage across the River Mersey to generate clean energy and create jobs.

The energy strategy will reference the work currently underway by the Mersey Tidal Commission. The commission, chaired by Brent Cheshire, is examining the business case to harness tidal power in the Mersey and Liverpool Bay to create large-scale clean and predictable energy. 

It's just one part of numerous pledges discussed by Rotheram which attempt to improve infrastructure within Liverpool after also calling for investment in high-speed rail between Liverpool and Manchester and in new high-speed broadband for the region.

WSP hopes to build upon the mayor’s bold ambitions and “provide a route map towards the decarbonisation of the city”.

Chambers added: “This strategy will highlight some major challenges for the city region. These include how to encourage greater energy efficiency in homes and how to scale-up the deployment of renewable energy generation, energy storage and electric vehicles. WSP is excited to be working on this important project that aims to provide a route map towards the decarbonisation of the city.”