How local area energy planning can be ‘done well’

Report for Ofgem sets out new quality framework

30 July 2020

The Centre for Sustainable Energy and the Energy System Catapult have published the Final Review Draft of Local Area Energy Planning: The Method, a new report for Ofgem outlining how local area energy planning should best be undertaken. The report is referenced in the regulator’s RIIO-ED2 Sector Specific Methodology Consultation Document published on Thursday 30 July 2020.

Local area energy planning is a key technique to inform, shape and enable key aspects of the transition to a net zero carbon energy system. The report sets out its key elements and describes how each can be done well. This can inform future practice by local authorities and others engaged in such planning. The resulting plans can potentially underpin specific proposals to upgrade local energy networks to enable local decarbonisation commitments to be met.

Four elements of local area energy planning are covered in the report: the use of robust technical evidence; consideration of wider non-technical factors which need to be addressed to secure change; the importance of effective stakeholder engagement, and; the approach to governance and delivery of the resulting plan.

For each of these elements, the report describes key issues to consider and techniques which could be applied and it provides a ‘done well’ checklist that doubles up as a quality assessment framework.

CSE’s Simon Roberts said “It is important to see all of these elements as equally critical. Without an effective social process, the buy-in of stakeholders, and an understanding of all the changes needed to succeed, any results from technical modelling will remain an interesting set of data, graphs and maps; it will not become a plan being put into action.”

The report benefitted from input from a Steering Group involving Ofgem, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Committee on Climate Change, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and Innovate UK.

To download a copy of Final Review Draft of Local Area Energy Planning: The Method click here.

For more details, see the full project profile here.

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