Pioneering, whole systems approach to developing robust Net Zero strategies for local places that are data-driven, collaborative and cost effective

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Data-driven, collaborative and cost effective Net Zero action plans

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 (LAEP).

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.



Whole systems approach

Local Area Energy Planning considers the complex interactions of power, gas, heat, and transport and the different ways in which our energy might be supplied, managed and consumed in the future – couple with the low carbon ambitions of the local community.

No ‘one-size-fits-all’

Each local area is unique and the right decarbonisation strategy will depend on the geography, building types, energy infrastructure, energy demand, resources and urban growth plans.

Local Stakeholder Collaboration

We promote greater cohesion across the local area, by actively encouraging planners, businesses, energy networks, regulators and communities to collaborate and take a whole system perspective.

Inform public and private investment

Local Area Energy Plans provide solid foundations to support local authorities, businesses and individual households in making decisions to cost-effectively cut carbon emissions. Including among a range of options: decarbonising heating, increasing local energy generation and storage, and developing electric vehicle charging.

Case Studies

Bridgend County Borough Council

Around 75% of local authorities in the UK have declared a climate emergency and targets of achieving Net Zero before 2050, yet few have a clear plan on how to get there, what needs to be done in what order, or which technologies and infrastructure to invest in.

Local Area Energy Planning (LAEP) is a data-driven, whole system approach – that considers how to decarbonise the entire energy system at least cost across electricity, gas, heat and transport, down the supply chains from energy generation to distribution and consumption in homes and businesses, and across systems – the physical, digital, market and policy systems.

Bridgend Country Borough Council were one of the first local places in the country to collaborate on a LAEP – focused initially on the decarbonisation of heat.

Working with BCBC, Wales and West Utilities and other key local stakeholders we developed a street-by-street LAEP unique to the area – that found decarbonisation of heat could be achieved at a cost premium of just 15% above the cost of decarbonising electricity alone.

The LAEP delivered future local energy scenarios; insights and evidence to help develop of a pipeline of innovation projects to transform the energy system to zero carbon over time; and identified opportunities and risks to help support more open dialogue, future engagement and investment in building retrofit, heat, gas and electricity networks.

Bridgend returned in 2021 to collaborate on extending the LAEP to include transport, energy storage and hydrogen.

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UK’s leading independent authority on helping local places take real action on the climate emergency. Our pioneering approach is data-driven, collaborative and cost effective.

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