Local Area Energy Planning across Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Combined Authority is working in collaboration with Energy Systems Catapult and their 10 local authorities to develop Local Area Energy Plans (LAEP) across the city.

The 10 LAEPs will explore the unique local characteristics of each borough, including the types of buildings, transport systems, local industry, local energy generation, storage and distribution assets to help better understand how our energy could be generated, distributed and used in the future.

The Challenge

More than 75% of local authorities in the UK have declared a climate emergency, with most targeting Net Zero before 2050. Yet few have a clear plan on how to get there.

Energy Systems Catapult helps local places build robust strategies to navigate to Net Zero, with our pioneering Local Area Energy Planning. LAEPs provide a solid foundation to support local authorities,  energy networks, businesses and individual households make decisions to cost-effectively cut carbon emissions – including options for decarbonised heating, local energy generation & storage, and the development of private and public electric vehicle charging across Greater Manchester.

The Innovation

Insights from the LAEPs will inform the creation of the Local Energy Market across Greater Manchester, helping to guide investment in measures like electric vehicle (EV) charging, energy storage capacity, decarbonisation of heating including introducing hydrogen where appropriate, home retrofit requirements for existing building stock and the development of local solar PV and hydropower generation.

Energy Systems Catapult is also involved in the development of the Local Energy Market running under a separate project: Unlocking Clean Growth in Greater Manchester.

Greater Manchester will also be the first place in the UK to utilise a new online public engagement and consultation process developed by Energy Systems Catapult, called zerocarbon.vote.

This will inform residents about the low carbon options that might be available in their neighbourhood based on the LAEPs and gather feedback and insight about their preferences.

The first Local Area Energy Plan is being delivered for Bury, with Salford and Manchester following. All 10 boroughs will follow by March 2022.

The Solution

LAEP combines cutting-edge whole system modelling with local stakeholder insights to support informed investment decision-making with consumers at the heart.

Our market-leading EnergyPath® Networks (EPN) tool, models the unique characteristics of the local area, including: the type of building stock, heating technologies, existing energy networks, electrification of cars, as well as local spatial constraints and opportunities.

The LAEP process collaborates with a range of stakeholders including local authorities, distribution network operators, businesses and communities to plan for a data-driven, cost-effective low carbon transition.

Bury was one of three locations where Local Area Energy Planning was originally developed (between 2015-2017) and will be the first location to receive a LAEP in 2021, with Salford and Manchester following afterwards. Each of the other boroughs will be completed by early 2022.

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You've declared a climate emergency .. now what? Local Area Energy Planning case study in Bury, Greater Manchester.

“This marks a key step in this innovative project being pioneered here in Greater Manchester and one that will be a key element of our carbon-neutral ambitions by 2038.

“The local Area Energy Plans will help us optimise our energy consumption through localised systems in each of the 10 boroughs, making it more efficient and cost-effective for residents and businesses.  This is the first project of its kind to be delivered at this scale.

“This is the smart way forward and working together with our partners we can lay the groundwork for a low carbon future.”

Cllr Andrew Western, GMCA Lead for the Green City-Region

Decarbonising Local Places

An independent, whole systems approach to accelerating Net Zero in local places by developing low carbon markets, attracting investment and creating jobs.

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