The city of Oxford has confirmed a £41 million project to build an Energy SuperHub.
The hub will be the world’s largest of its kind, made up of giant batteries, electric vehicle charging points and ground source heat pumps. The batteries will have a total capacity of 50MW.
The project aims to create cleaner air and enable electric transport in the area.
Furthermore, some residential areas are predicted to halve their car carbon footprint and reduce operating costs by 25% as they will use heat pumps that can be controlled using smart phones.
This innovative project will enable the aim of a zero-emission zone by 2020 to become a reality. The benefits of this will be an improvement in air quality, lowering the cities impact on climate change and benefiting the health of those living there.
If the project is a success, other cities could mimic it. Creating more zero-emission zones in cities could have a significant impact on reducing climate change. Furthermore, fewer health issues surrounding pollution would put less of a strain on hospitals and GPs, allowing them to focus their efforts elsewhere.
With a potential of 100 charging points available, residents may be encouraged to drive electric cars, further reducing emissions. Furthermore, this transformational project could contribute to mindset change. Habitants of Oxford are likely to adopt more sustainable lifestyles with this kind of support and encouragement from the council. When considering the hub as a possibility for other cities, there is an opportunity for behavioural change in more societies.
However, the project comes at a huge cost. Can only wealthy cities benefit from this cleaner air scheme? Is it a viable option on a global scale?