Why Smart Local Energy Systems?

Energy Systems Catapult’s latest report ‘Why Smart Local Energy Systems?’ is one one of three reports by the Catapult evaluating 13 Smart Local Energy System (SLES) projects funded by Innovate UK’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution (PfER) challenge.

This report seeks to answer the question ‘Why SLES?’ based on evidence gained from across the evaluation and knowledge of the PfER projects, while the other reports in this series focus on:

  • Bills and carbon impact of SLES
  • Public awareness and appeal of SLES

This report explores the financial and social benefits of implementing energy systems that are smart, local and integrated, whether SLES can be investable, scalable and replicable, and the barriers that have been encountered in deploying SLES.

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 findings:

The report found that Smart Local Energy Systems can:

  • facilitate decarbonisation and accelerate uptake of low carbon technologies;
  • utilise existing local resources to meet communities’ energy needs;
  • contribute to both local and national delivery of Net Zero;
  • create a wide range of economic and social benefits;
  • de-risk investments in energy infrastructure;
  • improve local energy resilience;
  • reduce energy bills and address fuel poverty.

The report also found that regulatory reform is required to unlock the full value of SLES and local flexibility.

Read the Report

Why Smart Local Energy Systems?

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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