Smart local energy systems: projects in conversation 

Posted on: 11/07/2023

Innovators and experts from smart local energy system projects describe their experience and what they have learnt, in a series of insightful interviews.

As its £104m Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme drew to a close in early 2023, Innovate UK assembled some of the key players from the funded projects to talk about their experiences of developing and trialling locally-integrated energy systems.

These three films tell the stories of several of the key projects in the programme. The first gives the insider view on the experiences of the three large-scale demonstrator projects: ReFLEX Orkney, Energy Superhub Oxford and Local Energy Oxfordshire.

In the second film, three of the team from the GreenSCIES project in London explain how they demonstrated a model for recovering heat from neighbourhood sources for use in heat networks, and proved its potential for the future.

In the third conversation, three projects talk about how they approached engagement with the communities in which they were operating, the issues involved, and the outcomes. Community engagement can be vital for new local approaches to energy, which may involve introducing new ideas and changing mindsets. The projects featured are Zero Carbon Rugeley in Staffordshire, Project Girona in Northern Ireland, and the Greater Manchester Local Energy Market.

After the interviews, Rob Saunders, Director of the Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge programme at Innovate UK, said:

The aim of our programme was not only to help prove what could be achieved through different approaches to smart local energy, but to make sure the learning from these projects is widely available. So I’d like to really thank the project teams in these films for openly sharing their experiences, and I hope this helps and inspires others.”

Learn more about the projects here.

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Enabling smart local energy systems

We live, work and travel in regions, cites, towns and communities, but energy systems are still very centralised. UKRI’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme explored the potential of smart local energy systems and place-based approaches. Discover learnings and insights from the £104m, five-year programme.


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