Energy White Paper: What it means for Smart Local Energy Systems

Published: 29 April 2021

In December 2020, the long-anticipated Energy White Paper (EWP) was released, adding to the wave of other high-profile policy documents including the government’s Ten Point Plan, National Infrastructure Strategy, and the Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget.

The EWP is designed to present a vision for how government intends to make the transition to Net Zero by 2050, indicating various forthcoming strategies, consultations and next steps to achieving the needed change. As can be imagined, the EWP
covers a lot of different policies and sectors.

Key points

This insight article focuses specifically on the EWP’s announcements that can impact Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES), including:

  • That government recognises the importance of local markets, place-based solutions, local flexibility and decentralised energy for the Net Zero future.
  • More work needs to be done to clarify the specific policy measures to support local markets and decentralised energy resources and solutions.
  • The government intends to provide greater clarity over governance arrangements and code reform, and is beginning the conversation on wider reforms to the electricity market.
  • The government intends to move forward with developing retail market reforms, which should open up the conversation on who
    pays for energy costs and how potentially allowing SLES to better capitalise on the value they can provide.
  • The government recognises the need to ensure the “right price signals” are in place to support decarbonisation, particularly
    regarding gas usage, and will be conducting reviews to remove price distortions.
  • The government is continuing to push for making data more readily available, with clarity in terms of how to share data and link with information from other sectors.