Kent is better placed to make the journey to being Net Zero faster than many other counties, according to the team behind the first Energy, Tech and Sustainability Expo.

The event was hosted by Discovery Park and supported by Canterbury Christ Church University, the University of Kent, and University of Greenwich, alongside Barclays Eagle Labs, Cummins and Veolia.

More than 220 business attended the event at the science and innovation park, near Sandwich. The event was designed to answer the big questions about how to help local companies, and Kent as a whole, beat the Government’s 2050 targets.

The county has one of the most diverse energy supply chains, including on and offshore wind, solar farms, battery storage, anaerobic digesters, energy-from-waste, biomass facilities, as well as electrical interconnectors linking Kent and mainland Europe.

Mayer Schreiber, CEO of Discovery Park, said: “At the moment 80 per cent of Kent’s energy consumption, including gas, electricity and fuel is carbon based, which shows the scale of the challenge. We’re fortunate on site to have many of our tenants actively seeking a solution to the issue of improving our environmental performance, whether it’s Cummins, ZeroAvia or GrowUp Farms.

“This event highlights the scale of the task we face, but also the commitment to reach the ambitious target, with Kent leading the way.”

The Expo highlighted how each organisation’s journey to reduce their emission profile is unique and dependent on the challenges they face whether that be finance, skills or technology. Universities are in a privileged position to mobilise access to knowledge and resources to help organisations overcome these barriers and achieve a more sustainable business model. Through research and innovation, continuing professional development (CPD) and access to specialist facilities and technology, there are numerous opportunities for industry and academia to collaborate and work in partnership to create a greener and more sustainable future.

Abbie Kempe, Director of Enterprise and Engagement

David Gowans, Head of Industry at Barclays Eagle Labs, added: “We’re really pleased to be partnering with Discovery Park as we work together to connect and drive growth in the EnergyTech sector. We want to play a leading role supporting climate and sustainability focussed businesses, and through our Eagle Labs, help EnergyTech businesses with the tools to help them connect, grow and scale.”

Attendees had the opportunity to climb aboard the world’s first hydrogen powered double decker bus, with the vehicle developed and built by Wrightbus, based in Northern Ireland.


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