Improving the business case for local renewable energy projects in the current market and under future market scenarios

Greater Manchester Combined Authority declared a climate emergency in 2019 and launched its 5-year Environment Plan, which sets out a long-term environmental vision to be carbon neutral by 2038 and the urgent actions that need to be taken in the next 5 years to help achieve this.

The Unlocking Clean Energy in Greater Manchester (UCEGM) Project was conceived of as part of this vision. UCEGM is a pioneering project that has delivered a number of renewable schemes across the Greater Manchester city region and has created a blueprint that can be replicated in other regions across the UK aiming for Net Zero carbon emissions.

Energy Systems Catapult, in partnership with five Greater Manchester local authorities – Manchester, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport and Wigan – secured £8.6m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to deliver the project.

Key findings

The project has delivered circa 10MW of local renewable energy generation across Greater Manchester and provided unique insight into the barriers and opportunities for unlocking clean energy in Greater Manchester and other local authority areas.

The report provides key learnings and recommendations across delivering planned local renewable energy projects and developing local renewable energy projects in uncertain future electricity markets. The lessons and learnings can be applied to local and regional authorities across Great Britain.

The report covers:

  • Project activities and summary
  • Detailed design of short-term business models
  • Commercial modelling of renewable generation projects
  • Local authority procurement
  • Project finance
  • Future electricity markets and systems
  • Dynamic modelling
  • Long-term business models
  • Insights for future markets
  • Advanced Network Management and Local Electricity Markets

Download the report if you’re interested in shaping the business case for your local renewable energy projects.

Read the Report

Improving the business case for local renewable energy projects in the current market and under future market scenarios

Download the Commercial Model

This tool can be used by renewable energy project developers as well as large energy consumers willing to procure renewable energy, to assess the economic sustainability of solar photovoltaics installations.

Download the Guidance Document

The following guideline provides a practical explanation of how to use the Financial modelling tool built for the project Unlocking Clean Energy for Greater Manchester (UCEGM).

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How can Local Councils fund renewable energy (eg. solar at National Cycling Centre in Manchester)?

European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £8,616,721 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit: European Growth Funding.

Financing Options Report

Cornwall Insights considers the two preferred routes which local authorities may use to raise finances for renewable energy projects.

Workstream 2 – Improving the business case for renewable energy

Understand the business models, opportunities and barriers for Greater Manchester to deliver their climate targets.

Solar Energy Generation

Market Intelligence Report.

Local Partnerships Energy Supply Guidance

The purpose of this guidance is to help councils consider the way energy is both procured and managed, in a challenging economic environment.

Local Authority Electricity Forecasting Tool

This Electricity Procurement Tool has been produced by Local Partnerships to help local authorities determine their future electricity procurement requirements.

Electricity Consumption Forecasting Tool

Frequently Asked Questions.

Local Energy Markets & ANM Architecture

This document acts as a base of discussion around the future of Active Network Management (ANM) systems and Local Energy Markets (LEMs).

Energy market modelling

This report provides findings from the energy market modelling for assets in the UCEGM region.

Detailed Design of Short Term Renewable Generation Business Models

This report builds on Phase 1 research by providing a detailed assessment of the previously selected short-term business models.

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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