Strategic Response 18

Promoting a circular economy and combatting climate change

Faced with a changing climate and increased energy costs, we will aim to become an energy neutral business,
whilst maximising the opportunities to reuse treated water and other potentially valuable natural materials,
contributing to the circular economy in our local region.
SR18 - Promoting a circular economy and combatting climate change with Dave Holthofer

This strategic response includes:

The business proposes to become energy
neutral through self-generation, energy
efficiency and a transition towards a circular
economy approach. Some of the generation
will still require the export (and subsequent
re-import) of electricity via the national grid
and local distribution networks. More
progress in demand management can be
made through adoption of energy efficient
equipment, whilst future designs for
treatment and pumping systems must
prioritise energy efficiency. Specific actions
will include:
• Review the way we manage the
construction and operation of our assets
and align this with the circular economy
• Supporting the redesign of works
replacements and upgrades to minimise
• Adopting proven emerging technologies
and efficient control systems to minimise
our energy consumption and CO2
• More efficient and resilient supply chain –
through improved procurement platforms,
payment procedures, diversifying single
sources of supply and testing the
resilience of our suppliers;
• Expanding our renewable generation
portfolio, including environmentally
sensitive hydropower as appropriate; and
• Investigating energy storage facilities to
increase resilience and manage energy

Research and Innovation

Welsh Water will explore the following
research topics, in collaboration with our
supply chain, to support this strategic
• Research a wide range of energy efficient
new water and sewage treatment
processes (particularly for our aged rural
wastewater treatment processes) and
monitoring to measure, manage and
encourage energy efficient behaviours;
• Research alternative uses for sludge, and
wider resource recovery, in order to
maximise the value of waste as part of a
circular economy;
• Continue the development and roll out of a
variety of renewable energy technologies;
• Identify additional sources of sludge and
develop sludge treatment to maximise
• Further roll out of demand side
management, tailoring our electricity
consumption and generation to meet Grid
demands, prevent black-outs and reduce
• Pilot the use of battery technologies to
store surplus energy and increase
• Research low-emissions transport options
for Welsh Water’s fleet of vehicles;
• Support our colleagues to undertake
relevant courses of study and qualifications
(for example, we currently support MSc in
Energy Systems at University of Cardiff);
• Research heat recovery technologies from
sewers in order to support our aim of
becoming a net carbon neutral business.

Find out more 

If you would like to find out more about all the Strategic Responses please CLICK HERE