Electricity North West, which operates the power network in the North West of England, has confirmed that it will be moving towards 100% renewable energy in 2020, as part of its bid to become a carbon-neutral operator.
The switch to using wholly clean energy sources has been enabled through a contract with Walney Wind Farm, which sits off the Cumbrian coast. Electricity North West has progressed the arrangement within its 'Leading the North West to Zero Carbon' strategy, wherein the firm lays out its ambition and plan to become entirely carbon-neutral by 2038, in line with Greater Manchester's ambitions as a city.
The target is ambitious, but the company's switch to using only renewable electricity will certainly support its aim. A spokesperson said that Electricity North West was investing in the latest technologies that allowed it to leave fossil fuels behind, and to invest in its own delivery network. She added that the company recognised its pivotal role in supporting businesses and individuals in the North West to reduce their own carbon emissions and to transition to a cleaner, greener energy future as part of a sustainable low-carbon economy.
Leading the way in the low-carbon economy
A number of British firms have already led the way to operating on a carbon-neutral model. Neal's Yard, which produces organic beauty products using sustainable methods, was one of the first to achieve its carbon-neutral status thanks to PPA agreements with wind energy firms in the Far East. Avis is another leader in the field, with one of industry's first corporate social responsibility programmes. It has already offset more than 150,000 tonnes of C02 in the past twenty years alone.
Marks and Spencer also became carbon-neutral in 2012, along with Google's UK operations, which became carbon-neutral back in 2007.