Catapult to lead project on Local Energy Systems for Scottish Industry

Published: 30 November 2020

Energy Systems Catapult has been appointed to lead a Local Energy Systems Scottish Industry Network (LESSIN) and bring together manufacturers, project developers, technology companies and investors to cultivate the low carbon ecosystem in Scotland.

The £334,000 initiative will be led by Energy Systems Catapult in partnership with the Energy Technology Partnership and is supported by the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The holistic local energy systems approach integrates electricity, heat and transport systems, often with a digital solution around the management of elements such as demand, supply, energy storage or conversion.

Many world-leading local energy system projects already exist across Scotland including the Levenmouth Community Energy Project in Fife also ACCESS (Assisting Communities to Connect to Electric Sustainable Sources) on Mull and SMILE in Orkney.

These projects have shown the concept can decarbonise heat use in rural areas and match local electricity generation and local electricity demand at a distribution network level, including hydrogen technology as part of the solution.

LESSIN will develop local energy activity as well as create opportunities for businesses in the supply chain to connect with each other and with stakeholders to build the Scottish low carbon economy.

The aim is to provide a platform for a series of schemes which will support Scotland’s company base in this emerging sector as well as contributing to net zero targets.

The Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy highlighted the need for the further development of local energy systems and has recently consulted on its local energy systems policy that is due to be published soon.

Scottish Enterprise head of low carbon transition, Andy McDonald, said: “I look forward to working with the Energy Systems Catapult team as they develop the Local Energy Systems Scottish Industry Network to bring together the expertise that exists across Scotland.

“Scotland has rich renewable energy resources and already boasts several world-leading demonstration projects in this area and by building on this, we will not only lead the way to meeting net zero targets, but also create a low carbon economy and aid green recovery.

“The project will also grow and connect Scottish businesses into future energy projects with the added potential for international opportunities, so we can take Scotland’s clean energy revolution across the globe too.”

Highlands and Islands Enterprise director of energy and low carbon, Audrey MacIver, said: “HIE welcomes working with the Energy Systems Catapult,  building on the strong track record we already have in the Highlands and Islands in this sector. We look forward to the added benefits the local energy systems cluster will bring to supply chain companies across our region.”

Energy Systems Catapult chief executive, Philip New, said: “Local energy systems have the potential to transform our journey to net zero, particularly within industrial clusters that can utilise the power of proximity to deliver sustainable economic and societal benefits. We are delighted to be working with the Scottish energy community to support and encourage innovation in local energy systems. Our collaboration with the Energy Technology Partnership will build on an already strong relationship and we look forward to working together to deliver this important programme.”

The three-year project is funded under Scottish Enterprise’s SPRITE programme and part-funded by the 2014–2020 European Structural and Investment Fund managed by the Scottish Government.