Agenda item

Agenda item

Presentation on the Oxfordshire Energy Strategy

Purpose: to consider and discuss a presentation from the Chief Executive of OxLEP.



Nigel Tipple introduced the developing Oxfordshire Energy Strategy.

Tim Allen (Peter Brett Associates) gave a presentation on the Energy Strategy, its objective being to ensure that a shortage of clean, reliable, low cost energy does not constrain the delivery of growth, and its links with other industrial and infrastructure projects in Oxfordshire and beyond.

In speaking to the presentation (attached) and in answer to questions he said:

1.    Objectives would be refined as the strategy developed;

2.    Clean energy and low-carbon dioxide producing energy could halve damaging emissions in the county, but there was a considerable challenge to deliver this: opportunities to increase low-carbon and clean generation would be included in the strategy.

3.    Generating capacity compared to energy needs within the county was low compared to the national average and there was a low diversity of sources. The county’s energy production and use should however fit within a national strategy of generation and usage.

4.    The capacity requirements to support planed growth to 2030 were considerable; the configuration of the grid was under pressure from the change to two-way and distributed generation; and suitable locations for clean energy generation, employment or housing could not be utilised because of lack of grid capability or connectivity.

5.    Changes to energy usage (eg rising numbers of electric cars and increasing demand from technology including ‘always on’ and ‘intelligent’ devices) posed significant challenges. If all cars were electric, electricity demand for charging batteries would quadruple and the domestic supply network would be unable to handle the load.

6.    Neither energy consumption nor cost would decrease on current trends.

7.    Lack of suitable energy supplies and connections was becoming a factor when commercial and research enterprises chose their location or considered expansion.

8.    The strategy highlighted opportunities for scalability, efficient energy use through passive house building, better building standards, increasing generation through local energy-from-waste schemes and photovoltaics. However some solutions may be unfeasible in certain locations or in combination with others, or be impossible to use in the county: for example the topography meant large-scale hydropower was not feasible.

9.    Energy suppliers SSE were building models to allow them to plan the capacity needed to support economic and domestic growth, and this strategy, the developing industrial strategy and the plans for housing growth needed to be built into this.

10. More pro-active energy capacity planning was required, and a different regulatory framework which did not (as now) discourage energy infrastructure and capacity installation during the initial planning stages of major developments. 

11. Key conclusions were: make planning more innovative as a route to change; get the information flows right; scale existing technologies; major investment is required; develop a coalition of key partners and community support for change.


The Board noted in comments:

·         The final report should contain an evidence base for the current and future energy needs of Oxfordshire to enable the Growth Board and OxLEP to lobby for investment.

·         Investment strategy should recognise potential investments into the energy network from other sources including innovation funds and private investors, and involve other relevant funding partners.

·         The draft of a final comprehensive strategy incorporating the comments of the Board would be presented to OxLEP at its June meeting for approval and then made available on the Growth Board website ( )


Supporting documents: