Kirklees Council has been awarded £100k of grant funding from the Net Zero Region Accelerator (NZRA) programme.

The funding, awarded by West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), will enable the council to carry out a consultant-led feasibility study to identify how to deploy and maximize the potential for renewable energy generation within Kirklees.

One of the actions of the Kirklees Council Climate Change Action Plan, launched at the end of last year, identified the need for a renewable energy feasibility study to help reach the end goal of the delivery of renewable energy projects within the district.

The council’s project firmly aligns with the strategic aims and objectives of the NZRA Programme, the aims of which are to support climate-based project development across West Yorkshire. The funding is intended to help organisations move projects at the development stage to become investment ready.

The project outlined, actively contributes to consider ways to reduce Kirklees’ reliance on grid energy and seeks to identify ways which produce a source of low carbon heat and power. As well as aligning with the West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan, the project further plugs a gap in the council’s evidence base.

Clr Will Simpson, Cabinet member for culture and greener Kirklees, said: “We are working hard to meet our emission reduction target of net zero by 2038.

“From improving the energy efficiency of street lighting to decarbonising heat within council buildings and working on our plan to invest in large scale renewable energy generation capacity, like the Heat Network.

“Kirklees is committed to being Net Zero and Climate Ready by 2038. The feasibility study, which this funding will enable, will be a catalyst for further local action and prepare investment-ready projects which will reduce emissions and increase energy resilience.

“We are absolutely committed to stepping up to the climate emergency locally and delivering a fairer greener future here in Kirklees – and in that our council will continue to play a leading role.”

Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin said: “We are determined to create a greener, fairer West Yorkshire. Supporting our partners is a vital step to deliver on our collective ambitions for a zero-carbon future and to tackle the climate emergency.

“We must protect the environment for future generations and invest in renewables so our future energy supplies can be local, reliable and affordable.”

This is the first phase of the Net Zero Regional Accelerator Funding of which Kirklees Council has been successful.

Funding is likely to be formally received in summer 2023 with the study commissioned thereafter. Council officers will work collaboratively with WYCA throughout the process and will seek to explore other investment opportunities to deliver further projects.