Enabling Smart Local Energy Systems: Finance and Investment

Energy Systems Catapult’s new report Enabling Smart Local Energy Systems: Finance and Investment has found that local authorities can play a pivotal role in delivering Net Zero by leveraging public funding to scale up the private finance needed, however, new approaches are needed to do so effectively.

Through extensive engagement with both investors and local authorities, this new Insight and Adoption Paper by the Energy Revolution Integration Service (ERIS) at Energy Systems Catapult sets out recommendations for national and local government, energy and financial sectors, and the UK Infrastructure Bank, to accelerate progress.

What is a Smart Local Energy System?

A Smart Local Energy System (SLES) is a way to bring together different energy assets in a local area and make them operate in a smarter way. They could be connected physically (e.g. a solar farm powering a housing development) or digitally (e.g. a virtual energy marketplace). They will help a local area decarbonise more quickly and cost effectively, and can deliver wider social and economic value for communities.

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Key points

Key recommendations from the report include:

  1. Working with local authorities and the sector to cultivate awareness of smart local energy systems, their value and the opportunities they present for people, place and planet.
  2. Legislation of net zero at local level, giving local authorities the power and capability to develop local energy communities.
  3. A planning framework to provide guidance and confidence to local authorities to develop these integrated energy solutions.
  4. Collaboration with investors, policymakers, and national and local government to develop innovative finance mechanisms to combine public funds and private investment.
  5. Creating demonstrable, visible pipelines of credible local energy projects to investors.
  6. Developing flexible standard procurement frameworks suitable for smart local energy systems.
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Enabling Smart Local Energy Systems: Finance and Investment

Net Zero Places

We empower and advise Local Authorities, Network Operators, and Central & Devolved Governments to take Net Zero action… mobilising the plans, projects, processes and partners you need to decarbonise local areas

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