Common Types of Local Energy System Projects in the UK

Charlie Wilson, Natalia Jones, Hannah Devine-Wright, Patrick Devine-Wright, Rajat Gupta, Callum Rae, and Mags Tingey

September 2020

One-size-fits-all support mechanisms will not work for local energy systems because projects range widely in rationale, scope, technologies, and partner composition. For example, some project types may require revenue support whereas others may require partnerships or regulatory reform to capture new value streams.

But, for system modellers analysing benefits, costs, and integration challenges for local energy systems, project heterogeneity can be captured efficiently using a small number of common types. This policy briefing and report identify four common types of local energy system project that have been implemented in the UK over the past decade. Each type is distinguished by geographic, scale, technological and institutional characteristics. They are:

  1. Projects led by 3rd or public sector organisations emphasising energy demand-side technologies and sectors such as housing
  2. Projects led by private firms focused on electricity supply integration and management
  3. Projects led by private firms with multiple energy vectors integrating across demand, network, and supply-side technologies
  4. Projects led by power network operators focused on network improvements.

Tags: Local authorities; LA; place; distribution; DS; geography; technology; institution; DNO; renewables