Leeds takes up the British Energy Challenge

Residents, businesses,
academics, environmental groups and local authorities will be debating how to
keep the lights on in Leeds next week.

Where energy comes from,
how its generated, how much we use and its overall impact on the environment
are all up for discussion at the British Energy Challenge.

Being hosted by Leeds City
Council and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the event will
explore the options for powering Leeds and Leeds City Region today and in the

Respected climate change
author and campaigner Mark Lynas will be chairing the interactive event
alongside DECC’s chief scientific adviser, Professor David MacKay.

To make the
discussion real and to highlight the scale of the challenge, the session will
use DECC’s interactive my2050 calculator.

**********Media opportunity**********

Where: Rose Bowl, Leeds Metropolitan University.

When: Friday 28 June, interview and photo opportunities with the my2050
calculator in action at 12.30pm, full debate starts at 1pm.

What: Media are invited to take part in the discussion at 1pm or for the photo
opportunity at 12.30pm. Interviews are available with Professor David MacKay, speaker
Professor Andy Gouldson, University of Leeds
and Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the
environment who will be opening the event and announcing details of new
partnership to deliver the Green Deal in Leeds.

Please contact Amanda on 0113 395 1577 if you wish to attend the debate at 1pm or arrange interviews at 12.30pm.


The my2050 calculator
demonstrates the options to generate energy, meet energy demand from residents
and businesses and how these decisions affect people’s everyday lives and the
implications for tackling climate change.

Anyone can use
the my2050 calculator at

Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“We know that many people are grappling with the day to day issues of how
to pay for rising fuel bills. The event gives us a unique opportunity to
discuss practical solutions that contribute to the wider challenge of how we
can make and use energy efficiently.

“The topics up for debate are complex and have significant implications
for our economy, the bills we pay and the environment we live in. However,
we’re keen to tackle the issues head on to ensure that Leeds can benefit from
locally generated, affordable and low carbon power.”

Professor David
Mackay, DECC’s chief scientific adviser, said:

“The beauty of the 2050 calculator is that it allows people to better
understand the scale of the energy challenges we face, and to make their own
decisions about how to power the country in a low carbon and efficient way.

“Decarbonising the energy system is one of the most important challenges
facing the UK today – and it can’t be achieved without the support of local
communities and businesses.  This
event is a great way to raise the profile of energy in the public domain”. 

Professor Andy Gouldson, University of Leeds, said:

"It is clear that energy bills are becoming ever more significant, not only for the people and businesses in Leeds, but also for the local economy where over £5 billion a year is spent on energy. But it is also clear that those bills - and associated carbon footprints - can be cut significantly through investments that make sense socially, economically and environmentally.

"This event will play a major role in stimulating the interest and investment that are needed to help Leeds move towards a low carbon, energy efficient economy."

The event in Leeds is one of eight roadshows taking place to allow
communities and businesses to discuss how the country is powered.

As part of the event, Leeds City Council will also be announcing details
of a new Green Deal partnership to help Leeds residents make their homes energy


For media enquiries
please contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds
City Council press office, 0113 395 1577

email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk