Opinion: ​Clean energy innovation boost to city

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Once again, it was my pleasure this week to make the case for Peterborough in Parliament, writes city MP Paul Bristow.

​By introducing a Westminster Hall debate on the “Potential merits of an innovation centre for energy transition in Peterborough” I put forward our case for this project to go ahead in our city.

This came after hosting a Parliamentary reception back in February for the launch of the business case to develop this facility which will conduct research into developing clean hydrogen technologies.

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This world-leading work would happen right here in Peterborough.

Paul Bristow MP with the Minister after his debate on an innovation centre for energy transition in Peterborough.Paul Bristow MP with the Minister after his debate on an innovation centre for energy transition in Peterborough.
Paul Bristow MP with the Minister after his debate on an innovation centre for energy transition in Peterborough.

It will bring new jobs to our city. High skilled, high wage jobs. This was a key promise I made to the people of Peterborough, and this is an excellent opportunity to realise this.

The project would run hand in hand with our new university and includes partners such as the City Council, Anglia Ruskin, TWI and other key regional businesses.

Together, we are developing our case for a high growth, energy cluster at the new university campus on Peterborough’s embankment.

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In fact, we are even rivalling Texas for this centre. This will really put Peterborough on the map for innovation, research and engineering.

We all want to see a greener, cleaner future. And we have made enormous strides in this regard since 2010.

But it is technology that will drive this forward and make the UK competitive internationally in the coming decades. Not punitive measures that would make working people colder and poorer.

The ambition is to create a new research institute called “The Global Innovation Centre for Energy Transition” through which will attract large global energy production companies.

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Some of these companies include the likes of Shell, BP, Adnoc, and a consortium of domestic industrial high energy users.

The proposal to build this new Research Institute on the university campus in Peterborough presents a huge opportunity for the regional and national economy as a whole.

As we begin to get faster links to London and neighbouring cities and towns it is important that we provide job opportunities to match our growing city.

We are already catching up with regional and national education levels and as we start to see students graduating from our tech driven university, we must stride to retain these graduates and provide job opportunities for them right here in Peterborough.

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I am proud of the progress we are making, we have received hundreds of millions of investment in recent years, to build a new station quarter, our brand new university, and that will soon deliver a new NHS Community Diagnostic Centre.

This hasn’t happened by accident. It is part of a vision that will make us all healthier and wealthier.

This new energy research centre is the next stage in this, and I shall do everything I can to make sure we deliver it for our fantastic city.