Planning regional and local decarbonisation: Local area energy plans and more

Planning decarbonisation regionally and locally – a key part of the net zero journey.

Tailoring climate actions to specific places has great potential. Research has shown this would deliver greater carbon savings and social benefits, at a lower cost, compared to a national ‘one size fits all’ approach. Taking a proactive, whole-systems, place-specific and data driven approach to energy planning can ensure we address the 82% of UK’s emissions that are within the scope of influence of local authorities.

Effective local planning for heating, transport and electricity, while delivering ‘no regrets’ local or regional projects that can bring immediate benefits, will be vital for net zero. This is why the Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme focused heavily on decarbonisation planning and local area energy planning (LAEP).

  • Innovate UK commissioned the Energy Systems Catapult to develop a LAEP methodology and guidance, a governance framework for coordination and a review of the future of LAEP in the UK. These aimed to help local authorities plan the best energy pathway for their place, and to help government ensure local, regional and national planning are joined up.  See links above for full information, or download the core reports below.
  • Funded by the programme, the Catapult developed a local area energy plan for Peterborough, followed by similar work with specialist contractors to develop plans in Staffordshire and Pembrokeshire.
  • Innovate UK commissioned Regen in 2023 to research next steps for local decarbonisation planning in delivering net zero. Working with stakeholders, the study confirmed that local decarbonisation plans deliver value as part of a wider approach, but that they need to be flexible and action-based. The ‘Planning for energy decarbonisation locally’ report provides insights and recommendations, such as  ensuring local authorities have access to quality data and agreed assumptions and methodologies to develop their baseline.

Download the reports

Related programme

Enabling smart local energy systems

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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