Ikigai Capital joins Net Zero Leiston consortium to lead the way for Net Zero Towns

Ikigai Capital is proud to announce its appointment as net zero bankability adviser in a consortium of international engineering and energy systems experts that have pledged to show a Suffolk coastal town how to increase energy efficiency, tackle fuel poverty and reach net zero carbon emissions.

Representatives from Leiston-cum-Sizewell and local authorities are leading the consortium on a project that is being launched in the town called ‘Net Zero Leiston’. It aims to help the parish achieve zero carbon emissions by around 2030 and end fuel poverty.

Climate change is a cause for concern across the world and the UK has a legally binding commitment to achieve ‘Net Zero’ emissions by 2050. Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council along with over 300 local authorities, has declared a climate emergency. Board members of the community partnership organisation Leiston Together hope that by bringing together partners and the local community a blueprint for achieving net-zero can be delivered which will also help similar towns across Britain.

Since the start of the year Leiston representatives have been working with partners including EDF, East Suffolk Council, Suffolk County Council, Atkins, Ikigai Capital, Opergy and Energy Systems Catapult to work on a ‘route map’ which will outline the timescales and milestones which would need to be undertaken to meet this ambitious aim.

Initial activities will include a pilot scheme for twenty properties in the town to be retro-fitted with various technologies and materials to help improve their energy performance, such as roof and cavity wall insulation, boilers and solar panels.

Leiston Town Council is leading the project with financial and project management support from EDF and the Sizewell C project. It is intended that the project will eventually be wholly community-owned and self-sustaining. 

Helena Anderson, Ikigai Capital co-founder and COO said:

‘We believe integrated low carbon solutions – across electricity, heat/cool, fuel and CCUS – can best add value for consumers, investors and regional economies. Data-led, systems-based, demand optimisation is the first step. A technology-neutral approach is essential, given the multiple pathways available to achieve net zero in a particular locality and timeframe. But above all, the energy transition will only be achieved if it is investable and bankable, focusing not only that the projects that can be delivered in 2050, but also the enabling infrastructure that can catalyse change now. Too often, a high impact decarbonisation project is abandoned because creative thinking around the potential revenue stack, funding structures and strategic partners was an after-thought. We set up Ikigai to address this blind spot in the context of energy-led city and industrial solutions. We are therefore honoured that EDF shares this perspective and has chosen Ikigai to work alongside the leading professional advisors in this space, not only to deliver an investable Net Zero Leiston, but to create a blueprint for the financing of net zero towns across the UK.”

Clerk of Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council John Rayner said:

‘Leiston-cum-Sizewell is very pleased to be able to work with EDF and the other partners in this project to make Leiston a Net Zero contributor to climate change by 2030. The ambition, resources and potential of the group is very exciting and Leiston will undoubtedly benefit from this investment.’

‘We believe a robust approach is needed to engineer net zero and truly tackle climate change. To achieve we will need the local community to be involved and at the heart of what we do. To that end we have delivered a leaflet explaining the project to all homes in Leiston-cum-Sizewell and we have launched a website to encourage local people to get involved and share their ideas on how our town can become Net Zero.

Partners in the project include Atkins, the international engineering and project management group who will draft the Net Zero report; Ikigai Capital, a London based net zero bankability adviser; Opergy, a Suffolk-based clean energy consultancy; and Energy Systems Catapult. The Net Zero Leiston Team is planning to publish the route map in Autumn.