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Mayors in Greater Manchester and Liverpool are hoping a “green industrial revolution” could allow people to take control of soaring energy bills.

Wind, hydro, solar and even grass will be looked at as potential options for powering the city regions by a Green Energy Taskforce, launched by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and Liverpool City Region metro mayor Steve Rotheram this week.

The task force will map the green energy potential of both city regions and look at how people in the North West could directly own and control those resources, with the hope of creating a blueprint which can be replicated across the country.

Mr Burnham said: “We want to seize the problem in the North West head on. Energy bills have skyrocketed. People feel powerless. When we look at our wind and our other renewables, ownership of our energy is up for grabs.

“Why not us, the people and businesses of the North West – the stakeholders – make a play for this? Let the people be in control.”

Earlier this week, Mr Burnham called on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to support the north of England on plans for green construction and green energy, rather than trapping it in a “backward looking debate” on fracking.

Mr Rotheram added: “Liverpool City Region has the potential to be the UK’s renewable energy coast, capitalising on our strengths in wind, solar, hydrogen and tidal power.

“Someone has to take advantage of the green industrial revolution, so why shouldn’t it be our region?”

The task force, which will see the city regions work with green entrepreneur Dale Vince, Co-operatives UK and Climate Outreach, will focus on co-operative and community ownership, with stakeholders to potentially include local authorities, public bodies, private business and taxpayers.

Mr Vince, founder of green energy supplier Ecotricity, said: “We can power the whole of Britain by harnessing our wind, sun, waves and even grass. And we know it makes most sense for the people to own these resources, so that the benefits accrue to us as a country.

“The Green Energy Task Force is a first step towards that and doing so at a regional level – starting with the Greater Manchester and Liverpool regions. It will create a blueprint that can be replicated across the country, by all regions – in pursuit of a net zero carbon in the 2030s.”

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