Greater Manchester targets smarter local energy system

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Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has unveiled plans for a Local Energy Market project, that will place the region “at the forefront” of the net zero challenge.

On 28 March, GMCA announced that it will collaborate with 10 local authorities to revolutionise the use and distribution of energy across the Greater Manchester region, as it looks to become carbon neutral by 2038. Working together, they will devise plans that aim to increase energy efficiency and allow for the installation of new technologies, creating low carbon infrastructure that supports all 10 of the local authorities in future.

Energy Systems Catapult has been appointed to support the development of Local Area Energy Plans across Greater Manchester, taking an approach that considers all types of buildings, transport systems, local industry, local renewable energy generation, storage and distribution assets across the 10 districts. This will seek to gain understanding of how energy can be generated, distributed and used in future, with the advantage of taking a place-based approach being that it ensures low carbon decisions taken by stakeholders, such as homes and businesses, in future are done so with the best evidence.

Energy Systems Catapult has been developing a digital place-based public engagement and consultation process, with Greater Manchester now set to become the first place to use it. It will help to inform residents about the low carbon options potentially available in the neighbourhood, receiving feedback and insight about their preferences.

The first Local Area Energy Plan is being developed by Bury and will be consulted on in late spring, before Salford and Manchester follow later in the summer. Each of the other boroughs will follow until early 2022.