Our current local energy system is not fit for purpose and requires substantial change in order for us to reach our ambitions both locally and nationally. We recognise that these solutions are largely place-based and our assets and benefits are also local.
Having the right stakeholders and partners invested in achieving smart local energy system is paramount to unlocking exponential benefits that are driven by the value of flexibility in a local system.
Our project design focuses on three core areas of institution design, technical design and market design and has led us to our conclusions about who we need to collaborate with to enable the solutions of our SLES.
The collaboration between a public body such as a local authority ensures an unbiased decision making for the City and can benefit from unique alignment of other local place based responsible such as trransport, spatial planning and waste.
Combine this insight with the expertise of distribution network operators; if is resourced effectivly, could offer a more holistic view to whole systems infrastructure, which informs the investment in to our energy infrastructure according to the needs to the city and local assets and resources.
The aim is that the creation of a new body will support the coordination of all the energy vectors at a local level to achieve our goal. Thus significantly reducing the cost of achieving net zero for the consumers and ensure that no one is left behind.
We fully believe that the value of a smart local energy system and the more holistic view of energy planning will drive development of business model and investment, unlock the value of the co benefits and support our local interests for our people. In order to drive the value that local flexibility markets can bring we need the necessary regulatory changes to fully integrate this in order to accelerate and achieve net zero.
The last but probably one of the most critical points to the project is in the potential for investment of SLES. We have to find a way to de risk the market in order to bring forward investment ahead of need. Not only in our infrastructure, but investment in to skills and capability to enable these new technologies to be implemented and nurtured, and only then can we fully realise our net zero goals.
We couldn't have started the project without funding from the PFER project. Collaborative working makes a huge amount of difference and the right skill capabilities and motivation drives a successful project team.
We have everything from government (regional and local) place-based, academic, private and industry leads.
It's a really wider range of skills and knowledge who provide a wealth of insight to the project and it couldn't have happened without the sharing agreements in place which have enabled unprecedented amount of data to be accessed.
I'd recommend working collaboratively and encourage challenge. It may mean difficult conversations but its great to think wider than just your areas and may just present new opportunities.
Look at the time scales to see what really is deliverable and where the dependencies are in a project. Keep revisiting your objective and make sure you are staying on track of the project. Understand what your funders want, and how to move to the next stage. Build in contingency. It's difficult to know what may crop up so over estimate your timings and budget as things always take a bit longer or cost more than anticipated. Build in dissemination to the project - understand the key messages and learnings from the project and share them with the world.