Smart Local Energy Systems to deliver low-carbon heating and power

Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES) are on their way, integrating new low-carbon energy technologies across heat, power, and mobility to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. In order for emerging projects and project partners to get to grips with existing policy and future developments, Cenex and Energy Systems Catapult have released a white paper, covering policy challenges and future changes for SLES.

The white paper, which draws on the results of a detailed design study for Green Smart Community Integrated Energy Systems (GreenSCIES), aims to support the drive for uptake of SLES, with a comprehensive policy review, detailing the effect on revenue streams for SLES and the impact of proposed and potential future changes to energy policy and regulation.

This research and the resulting report will provide a valuable reference for future SLES projects, enabling new schemes to be designed with the framework of energy policy and regulations in mind. With government ambitions to phase out the installation of gas boilers, heat networks will become increasingly important and there is a considerable journey towards a smarter, more flexible energy system ahead.

Innovation, new technology, and advanced business models are vital to the development and deployment of SLES. However, to drive investment, accelerate adoption and ensure efficient dispatch of distributed energy resources (DER), market design must reform and policy must evolve.

Greg Payne, Senior Technical Specialist and Modelling and Analysis Lead at Cenex, explained: “This paper puts together a view of the complex and constantly evolving policy landscape. Smart Local Energy Systems are a complicated concept in themselves, so determining how they can work within the existing policy is not easy.

“We hope, by publishing this paper, others can benefit from the work we have done on the GreenSCIES project, and get a clearer view of the impacts of energy and heat policy on other SLES projects.”

George Day, Senior Advisor for Net Zero Policy at Energy Systems Catapult said: “Delivering low-carbon heating, cooling, and power to residents and businesses while helping to power the growing demand for electric vehicles is part of the solution for a long-term reduction in carbon emissions. Smart local energy systems can play a big role in this.

“New projects need to be viable and this means they have to understand the policy and regulatory environment. We are pleased to have worked with Cenex on this informative and insightful paper.”

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