Refining the multi-criteria assessment for smart local energy systems

Bjarnhedinn Gudlaugsson, Christina Francis, Camilla Thomson and David Ingram

27 February 2023

The development and deployment of the smart local energy system (SLES) can provide critical support to local and national efforts towards transiting to decarbonised energy systems and provide benefits that support local strategies to enhance energy security and tackle the climate crisis. Therefore, to ensure the successful development and deployment of SLES, it is critical to have the ability to assess the SLES performance to understand what works, in what context, for whom, and what are benefits and potential barriers.

An assessment tool called the MCA-SLES tool is currently being developed as part of the EnergyREV programme. The development of the MCA-SLES is a multi-faceted process that involves a high degree of stakeholder engagement, a large volume of assessment themes and criteria, and data to ensure that tool can capture the complex nature of a smart local energy system.

This report describes the second stage in developing the MCA-SLES tool, focusing on redefining and prioritising of the assessment themes and criteria and present the overall methodology process for developing the MCA-SLES tool. The findings show a new set of 6 assessment themes and 37 assessment criteria identified through a stakeholder workshop focused on redefining the previous ten key themes and 50 sub-themes. In addition, it is revealed that the environmental theme and associated criteria are the most important factors to be included in the assessment tool based on the prioritisation of the assessment themes and criteria. In contrast, the governance theme and associated criteria are considered the least important factors concerning being included in the assessment tool.