Post-Pandemic Recovery: How Smart Local Energy Systems Can Contribute

Mike Fell, Rachel Bray, Rebecca Ford, Jeff Hardy, and Madeleine Morris

December 2020

This report considers how the development of smart local energy systems (SLES) could support post-pandemic green economic recovery. We suggest reasons why viewing recovery through a ‘SLES prism’ could be beneficial, and encourage policymakers to consider this in their planning.

The six aspects of the SLES prism are:

  • local knowledge
  • engagement and trust
  • coordinated planning
  • economic strategy
  • unlocking co-benefits
  • scaling up.

We have also identified four key areas of activity for a green recovery based on existing proposals:

  • building energy efficiency
  • low-carbon heat
  • low-carbon mobility
  • generation infrastructure.

We make the case for why SLES could deliver in these areas in a way that is better value and better targeted, with more and quicker (but enduring) action and investment. We also highlight some of the key risks to bear in mind. The report includes a number of brief case studies that illustrate how local energy schemes are already delivering the kinds of benefits we discuss.

A webinar about this report was held in March 2021: