A UK solar project, Brixton Solar One, has been selected in the annual KPMG Infrastructure 100, a league table showcasing 100 of the most innovative infrastructure projects from around the world. The Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition highlights seven projects from the UK among the most innovative and sustainable global infrastructure projects, including a London hospital and a university campus as well as the Brixton project.
Although small in scale, Brixton Solar One is another urban PV project that charmed judges with ambition and community spirit. Located on the Loughborough Estate – an economically deprived area of south London in the United Kingdom – the project will be Britain’s first community-run urban solar power plant. PV panels will be installed on the rooftops of the estate in order to generate clean energy for residents. The £75,000 project is being financed through a community share offer, in which local businesses and individuals can invest. It aims not only to generate steady returns for shareholders, but to make a lasting contribution to sustainability and quality of life in the area.
Five regional judging panels from around the world, assessed hundreds of submissions on criteria ranging from: feasibility, social impact, technical and financial complexity, innovation and impact on society. There are 10 project categories, including: Urban Mobility, Global Connectivity, Urban Regeneration, Education, Healthcare, Water, New and Extended Cities, Recycling and Waste Management, Urban Energy Infrastructure and Communications Infrastructure.
The UK projects named as some of the world’s top infrastructure projects all address key challenges such as urban regeneration and the renewal of education and healthcare facilities, improving the cleanliness of our rivers and our transport connectivity.
They are: Edinburgh Food Waste, Edinburgh, Scotswood Urban Regeneration, Newcastle, Mersey Gateway, Cheshire, UWE New Campus, Bristol, Brixton Solar One, London, Thames Tideway Tunnel, London, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel.
Richard Threlfall, KPMG’s UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction, comments, “The UK still punches way above its geographic and economic weight with seven of the 100 most important projects in the world across a range of sectors. This is despite a dwindling pipeline, construction projects being strangled by a lack of private finance, construction companies going bust and general gloom across the industry. We need to act now to develop private investment in infrastructure. This will not only to help kick start the UK economy but also to secure funding to ensure that our future infrastructure projects continue to be innovative. These pioneering projects go to the heart of solving the challenges the country faces, from regenerating our neighbourhoods to building education and health facilities fit for this century.”
North America continues to dominate top infrastructure development with 25 projects named among the most innovative ventures, closely followed by Asia-Pacific (20); Europe (17) Middle-East (17); South America (15) and Africa (6), according to KPMG’s Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition Report. Nations from emerging markets also continue to feature extensively within the list.
Threlfall continued. “The league table shows that many of the world class infrastructure projects are located in North American and Asia - these regions have continued to increase their efficiency in getting projects off the ground. The UK has some catching up to do in this respect - it still does not have a framework which encourages enough private sector investment in infrastructure. The Government needs to outline a clear strategic direction if it wants to remain competitive on an international level.”