Report sets out importance of local area energy planning

The Energy Systems (ES) Catapult and Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) have set out the key elements to delivering an effective local area energy plan.

On 30 July, Local Area Energy Planning: The Method, published as part of Ofgem’s plans for local energy systems, cited local area energy planning as a “key enabler” of decarbonisation. It recognises each local area is unique, both data driven and cost effective, while also helps local authorities and energy networks to make evidence-based decisions. If done well and consistently across many localities, it can also inform “sharper, more effective and better targeted” national policies.

The report identified four critical elements to deliver a plan, beginning with use of robust technical evidence, produced using analytical techniques that consider the whole energy system, along with a comprehensive assessment of wider non-technical factors. A “well designed and involving” social process is then needed, engaging appropriate stakeholders effectively to ensure the resulting plan is seen as an informed and legitimate representation of local intent for energy system decarbonisation, followed by a sustained approach to governance and delivery.

ES Catapult Director, Richard Halsey, said: “Scaling up a more effective whole system approach to local area energy planning in the early 2020’s is a critical enabler to translating our national net zero commitments meaningful action in different places and helping to unlock the investment needed in smart local energy systems.”

ES Catapult