Last week saw Portsmouth residents, local businesses and council employees come together to discuss what Portsmouth City Council are doing to tackle climate change. Held over two days, there were talks from teams internal to PCC and from organisations we are working with to reduce the city’s impact on climate change.
With attendees ranging from solar panel installers to construction companies, and from universities to energy providers, there were plenty of interesting conversations taking place.
Speaking to a sell out audience, Tuesday morning began with a talk from the Portsmouth International Port on what they are doing to reduce emissions and improve the air quality in and around the port. Next we had the zero carbon electricity supplier Bryt Energy, discussing the evolution of the current supply fuel mix to date, as well as the key trends that will shape the future of energy generation in the UK, specifically looking at causing of growing energy demand, cost of new renewable assets, the need for flexibility on the grid and the interplay of hydrogen and power markets. Greentech South then discussed what they are doing to support Portsmouth based organisations focused on improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.
After lunch, with the opportunity for some networking and exhibitors also showcasing their involvement in tackling climate change, talks resumed with PCC’s Transport Team, on what they are doing to improve air quality in Portsmouth. This not only covered the Clean Air Zone, but also the Clean Air Fund, Workplace Sustainable Travel Fund, E-Scooter Trial and Bus Retrofits. The Sustainable Energy Research Group from the University of Southampton gave an overview of the Greener City Performance Tracker, which enables organisations to assess their performance in achieving the city’s sustainability targets. Closing the talks on Tuesday was PCC’s Building and Maintenance Team, demonstrating the impressive refurbishment of Wilmcote House. Retrofitted to EnerPHit standard, this project has allowed residents to benefit from reduced energy bills and improved thermal comfort, while reducing carbon emissions.
The focus on Wednesday morning then switched to Home Energy. Talks began with Agility Eco, a sector leader on low carbon, energy efficiency and fuel poverty services giving a demonstration of their role in eliminating fuel poverty. Next up we had a local renewable energy installer Infinity Energy, discussing the different renewable energy measures that can be installed within the home to reduce our carbon footprint. Finishing the morning session was Absolar Solutions, a spin out from the University of Southampton demonstrating the impressive Switched on Solar tool that was launched earlier this year.
Sustainability was the talking point of the afternoon, with PCC’s own Neighbourhood Services Team discussing how they are improving the environment in Portsmouth through the use of safe and more sustainable cleaning products, along with switching their power tools over to battery operated tools. The Building Design Team then gave an engaging talk on the low energy housing standard Passivhaus in Portsmouth. This standard of housing requires very little energy to heat and cool, therefore resulting in low carbon emissions. Closing the event, we the had Waste Collection and Disposal Team discussing how they were improving air quality in Portsmouth through switching their refuse collection vehicles from diesel to hydrotreated vegetable oil. Also discussed was the success of the energy recovery facilities in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.
If you missed out then you can view some of the presentations below: