Economic growth, increased wealth and legislative drivers can facilitate greater investment in newer, cleaner technologies and processes. The current economic recession is affecting businesses across the world, however, recession also sparks a renewed need for action and stimulation of ideas. Future economic growth will increasingly depend upon the resolution of big environmental issues – low carbon energy supply and demand, sustainable water supply and demand, adapting to climate change and environmental protection and improvement. The breadth and depth of the Northwest’s Energy and Environmental Technologies Sector is second only in the UK to London and the South East. There is a continued need to support the significant potential for sector growth in the region.
- Energy use. The Northwest has concentrations of activity in energy intensive sectors, including the chemicals sector. However, the energy intensity of the Northwest economy has been falling overall, and modelling work undertaken during the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) suggested that energy use (excluding power and transport) will fall by 10% over the period 2005-2015, based on a strong decline in demand from energy intensive industries. However, the same report predicts that energy use from transport is expected to continue to rise. Therefore, it is by no means certain that overall CO2 emissions will decline during this period, as growth in emissions from road traffic, shipping and aviation is expected to continue
- Environmental technologies. Although not highlighted by employment or GVA data, the region has some emerging strengths in environmental technologies and this sector (or group of sectors) was one of NWDA’s priority sectors for development. This includes such areas as air pollution control, environmental consultancy, renewable energy, energy efficiency and recycling and waste management. In particular, there are opportunities associated with low carbon emitting technologies (in relation to energy production and other forms of production and waste minimisation). There are also opportunities around environmental management and monitoring (for example, the spin-out from the nuclear sector in westCumbria)
Summary Of Northwest Energy Sector 2003 (202.4 KB)