Developing a Multi-Criteria Assessment Framework for Smart Local Energy Systems

Christina Francis, Alessa Sierra Costa, R. Camilla Thomson, and David M. Ingram

June 2020

Smart local energy systems (SLES) are being developed to exploit digital technology and the Internet of Things to connect various energy vectors such as transport, heat and power through flexible energy supply, demand, and storage. To ensure that their potential is realised, projects and funders need to be able to assess their performance and understand what works, for whom and in what context. A multi-criteria assessment (MCA) tool for SLES is currently being developed as part of the EnergyREV programme to help identify how well an installation meets its aims for sustainability.

The creation of such a tool is a multi-faceted process that must include the expectations of different stakeholders, the diversity of projects and the different stages of development. This report describes the first stages in the tool development. A summary of various assessment tools, stakeholder analysis and initial consultation findings are presented, from which 10 key themes and 50 sub-themes were identified to create a taxonomy for measuring the performance of SLES. In addition, to track the wider benefits and influence of SLES, it is revealed that 11 of the 17 UN sustainable Development Goals can be mapped onto the taxonomy and contribute to international efforts to alleviate global issues.