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Greater Manchester gears up for clean energy innovation

New Energy Agency to establish the region as leading clean growth test-bed


Three Greater Manchester universities, local government and enterprises are creating an Energy Innovation Agency to kick-start a decade of clean energy innovation in a bid to meet the region’s 2038 carbon neutral target.

The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford will apply their energy and environmental research expertise and work with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and SSE Enterprise to drive Manchester’s ambitious regional environmental innovations forward.


While the UK government set a binding target of 2050 to achieve net zero carbon, Greater Manchester set its own more ambitious 2038 deadline to decarbonise its energy system. The EIA will be instrumental in aiming to reach the aspirational target, with the hope that the region can be a pacesetter for the rest of the UK.

Greater Manchester’s 2038 decarbonisation deadline is ahead of that of wider UK government

The aims of the Greater Manchester Energy Innovation Agency are to:

  • Collectively reduce Greater Manchester’s carbon emissions to net zero; 
  • Scale the most promising clean energy technologies across the whole city-region, so that every locality benefits from the early adoption of effective innovation opportunities;
  • Rapid transition from trials to demonstrators and then full-scale adoption supporting the aims of the GM Industrial Strategy;
  • Establish Greater Manchester as the leading city-region clean growth test-bed that attracts global industry and investment.

Councillor Andrew Western, GMCA Lead for the Green City-Region, said: “Tackling the transition to a zero carbon society is going to take a group effort. The combined insight of Greater Manchester’s universities, industry partners and GMCA will enable us to work together to achieve this goal.

“We’re already making good progress towards the goals of our Five-Year Environment Plan, which alongside achieving decarbonisation also includes improving air quality, protecting the natural environment and building resilience to climate change. By establishing partnerships such as the GM Energy Innovation Agency we are in a much better position to support our commitment to become carbon neutral by 2038, creating a greener city-region for years to come.”


The announcement was made as part of the third annual Greater Manchester Green Summit, which took place virtually this week. The Summit reviews the six environmental themes outlined in the Greater Manchester five-year environment plan launched in March last year.


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