Smart local energy systems: unlocking net zero

Dip into the recordings of this exploration of smart local energy systems and their potential in the race to net zero.

Event Details

19/07/2021 - 22/07/2021

10.00 - 14.00



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KTN, on behalf of UKRI, delivered a virtual deep-dive into smart local energy systems.  Over several sessions, the speakers looked at how integrating energy use, generation and storage locally could save costs, cut emissions and bring communities greener, cheaper energy.

The event shone a spotlight on the issue – exploring UKRI-funded energy system projects around the UK, the latest research, the lessons being learnt and the hurdles found on the way.

Webinar recordings are now available

Smart local energy systems: the opportunity and the value

Speakers included:

  • David Joffe, Head of Carbon Budgets | Committee for Climate Change
  • Juliet Davenport, Founder and Executive Director | Good Energy
  • Caroline Bragg, Head of Policy | Association for Decentralised Energy.

The session provided an overview the importance of smart local energy systems in the race to net zero, the many innovative projects under way and the benefits and barriers they are finding.


The business of smart local energy systems

Speakers included:

  • Gavin Starks, CEO | Icebreaker One
  • Matthew Boulton, Chief Commercial Officer | Pivot Power
  • Chris Langdon, Development and Investment Director | EQUANS UK and Ireland (ENGIE Group)
  • Maria Sharmina, Reader in Energy and Sustainability | University of Manchester
  • Tim Braunholtz-Speight, Research Associate, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research | University of Manchester.

They explored the business opportunities and prospects for smart local energy systems, new business models, and the experience of companies on the front line of this ‘energy revolution’.

Finance and investment

Speakers included:

  • Ryan Jude, Associate | Green Finance Institute
  • Nick Robins, Professor for Sustainable Finance | Grantham Research Institute
  • Monika Paplaczyk, Investment Director | Thrive Renewables plc
  • Beverley Gower-Jones, Managing Partner | Clean Growth Investment Management LLP (CGIM)
  • Christoph Mazur, Zero Carbon Rugeley SLES Project Lead | EQUANS UK and Ireland (ENGIE Group)
  • Lawrence Slade, CEO | GIIA

The session looked at the investment prospects in smart local energy systems and the latest developments in the funding and finance landscape.

The way forward for local authorities

Speakers included:

  • Polly Billington, Chief Executive | UK100
  • Patrick Allcorn, Head of Local Energy | BEIS
  • Sean Owen, Head of Low Carbon | GMCA
  • Alex Pearson, Principal Regional Senior Energy Projects Officer | Nottingham City Council
  • Gordon Graham, Head of ERIS | ESC
  • Jan Webb | EnergyREV.

They looked at how Local Authorities are looking at smart local energy systems as part of their net zero planning.

Local energy systems for local communities and consumers: what works

Speakers included:

  • Dhara Vyas, Head of Future Energy Services | Citizens Advice
  • Emma Bridge, Chief Executive | Community Energy England
  • Barbara Hammond | Low Carbon Hub/LEO
  • Gareth Davies, Managing Director | Aquatera Ltd
  • Adam Peacock, Postdoctoral Research Associate | Keele University
  • Matt Lipson, Business Lead – Consumer Insight | Energy Systems Catapult
  • Patrick Devine-Wright | University of Exeter/EnergyREV.

The session considered community-driven energy system change and how trial projects are working with consumers to provide cleaner, cheaper energy for all.

Round-up of the week’s outcomes and ‘smart local energy systems: what next?’

Speakers included:

  • Lord Callanan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility) | BEIS
  • Laura Sandys CBE, CEO | Challenging Ideas
  • Cheryl Hiles, Director | Energy Capital, West Midlands Combined Authority
  • Rebecca Ford, Chancellor’s Fellow and Senior Lecturer | University of Strathclyde

They were joined by some of our previous speakers to round up the outcomes, look at what was learnt, and what must be done now, by whom, to realise the potential of smart local energy systems for unlocking net zero.


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