The Energy Independence 2025 report has been prepared by City Science for Exeter City Futures to understand the potential opportunities to achieve our bold goal of making the Exeter region energy independent and congestion free by 2025.

The report considers how well the Exeter region is placed to unlock a thriving energy sector and the opportunities for the region to become a demonstrator for cities around the world seeking to overcome their own energy supply challenges.

The Exeter region has access to abundant and wide-ranging natural energy resources offering vast untapped potential for generating low carbon energy. The report predicts that the region’s demand for energy will rise by 13% by 2025 due to forecast household and business growth and the associated increase in transport demand. It documents the significant scope for reducing demand, increasing generation and developing new innovations over this timeframe that could contribute to delivering a sustainable future for the region.

Key findings

The report identifies the scale of the Exeter region’s energy consumption, how much is currently being generated from renewable sources and how much is being spent each year on energy.

  • Annual energy consumption in Greater Exeter in 2014 was 10 TWh. Enough to make 368 trips to the moon!
  • Annual energy consumption is expected to grow to 11.3 TWh by 2025 mainly due to the considerable growth in housing and business expected.
  • Renewable energy supplied only 2.1% of total energy consumption.
  • 18.6 TWh of potential energy savings and generation measures have been identified across a range of technologies.
  • In excess of £0.9 billion is spent each year on energy. A range of projects and initiatives could help the region retain more of that financial outflow within the local economy.


  • Facilitate the development of net energy positive buildings
  • Develop credible roadmaps to large-scale domestic retrofit
  • Encourage and demonstrate innovative solutions to reduce domestic appliance energy
  • Develop commercial and industrial case studies
  • Develop credible roadmaps to cut transport consumption
  • Co-ordinate solutions to address grid constraints
  • Stimulate onshore generation
  • Provide an economic evidence base
  • Encourage and support research into enhanced generation efficiency
  • Encourage investment in marine and geothermal technologies


Compiled from in-depth research and expert contributions, the report provides a comprehensive analysis of the potential energy efficiency and generation opportunities from energy technologies such as solar PV, wind, bioenergy, hydro, marine and geothermal, as well as enabling technologies such as smart grids and energy storage. It also provides a detailed analysis of the political, financial and technical barriers that must be overcome to achieve a city-wide initiative of this scale.