Energy Seminar – week 5: What are the most important decisions to enable smart local energy systems?

Dr Jeff Hardy, Senior Research Fellow, Grantham Institute, Imperial College London

  • Start  Tuesday 08 Nov 2022 5:00pm
  • Finish    Tuesday 08 Nov 2022 6:00pm
  • Venue  Environmental Change Institute
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Speaker: Jeff Hardy

The UK does not have the appropriate policy, institutional and regulatory framework to realise the technical, economic, and societal potential of SLES. This report is a summary of the findings from a series of workshops that aimed to understand what decisions are needed to implement smart local energy systems (SLES). The work was led by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, a partner in the EnergyREV consortium.

Barriers to SLES include the centralised nature of energy decision-making, the unclear role and responsibilities of actors in the energy system, the poor business case for SLES, and the tensions with a just transition.

The Energy Revolution Research Consortium (EnergyREV) asked energy experts to identify the most important changes needed to enable SLES. They outlined these decisions:

  • National government should devolve powers, resources and capabilities to local authorities and require them to engage on, plan for and coordinate the development of SLES.
  • Greater coordination between key actors, particularly Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), the Electricity System Operator (ESO), local authorities (LAs) and SLES is needed to ensure good energy system outcomes. This coordination could be facilitated by a new coordinating body that sits between national and local energy systems.
  • Mandate open energy data and transparency, including from the DNOs and ESO, to realise the value of SLES.
  • Require all energy decisions to be evaluated against wider benefits to ensure that the energy transition is fair and that the benefits of SLES are realised.

In this talk, Jeff Hardy will discuss the findings and the implications for future governance.

Speaker:  Jeff Hardy is a Senior Research Fellow at the Grantham at Imperial College London, where he leads a team in the UK Energy Revolution Research Consortium examining the policy and regulation of smart local energy systems. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Public Power Solutions, Deputy Chair of the UK Power Networks Customer Engagement Group, and Director of Sustainable Energy Futures Ltd.

Jeff has over 20 years of academic, policy and business experience in sustainable energy. He has helped clients around the world understand the implications of zero carbon futures on business models and strategy, consumers, customers and citizens, policy and regulatory frameworks and energy systems.

Previously he was Head of Sustainable Energy Futures at the GB energy regulator, Ofgem and Head of Science for Work Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He’s also worked at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the UK Energy Research Centre, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Green Chemistry Group at the University of York and at Sellafield as a research chemist in a nuclear laboratory.

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