It has been a busy start to 2010 for the Low Carbon Innovation Centre (LCIC). Talks are ongoing with Norwich City Council with a view to Norwich becoming one of the UK’s first electric vehicle (ev) cities. Business leaders are being urged to consider acquiring electric vehicles for their fleets and a new partnership for procuring evs is being contemplated following central government incentives including making evs exempt from company car tax for five years from this April. At the University of East Anglia the forthcoming Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant will be an ideal point for charging cars. LCIC’s Marcus Armes said: “ Representatives from LCIC have had meetings with Norwich City Council and hope they will take the lead in putting together a partnership of local businesses to acquire electric vehicles for their fleets.”
This week also sees decisions taken on two major projects which have strong LCIC involvement. Broadland District Council applied for a £28.4m share of a £60m pot to help fund an eco-community at Rackheath near Norwich. A planning application for the first 200 houses as an exemplar phase is expected to be submitted by June. LCIC provided carbon expertise for the application. Also this week LCIC expects the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) to announce the winners of the Big Green Challenge. The Challenge is NESTA’s £1m prize to encourage the development and implementation of new community approaches that will lead to a 60% cut in greenhouse gases in communities. LCIC has been evaluating the efforts of the entrant communities especially the ten finalists, which represent a broad selection of UK regions.