Strategic Innovation Fund

Collaborative Local Energy Optimisation (CLEO)

Project Data

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Project CLEO is helping local authorities in London, the east and south east of England establish Local Energy Area Plans, and accelerating their Net Zero journeys.

What is the project about?

Around 100 of the 133 Local Authorities (LAs) in the UK Power Networks region have declared a climate emergency, and over 300 across the UK have done the same. More than half (66 of the 100) of these have set an accelerated target to achieve Net Zero by 2030. Ofgem has set the expectation that local plans should be used to inform network planning and justify capital investment. Each LA has different needs; understanding their needs and what plans would best suit the customers and communities in that area is a complex, time consuming and resource intensive process. Many LAs lack the expertise and experience to be able to identify, assess or consider the energy and technology impact on their development plans and vice versa. An effective Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP) requires integration of various data sources and balancing of various dependencies and constraints to achieve Net Zero goals. Not only do LAs lack the resources and expertise to build LAEPs to meet evolving industry standards, but they also face difficulties in assessing the impact that the energy plans have on social equality and lack the capacity to engage effectively with other local, regional, and national energy system stakeholders.

How we’re doing it

UK Power Networks has built a team that will engage with all 133 local planning authorities on their climate plans each year of RIIO-ED2. They will offer a three-tiered support service utilising a framework, to assess and develop action plans and deliver investments where a prescribed level of certainty is achieved in period.

The Local Net Zero Team and the LAs they serve will require the tools and data to perform this activity and collaborate effectively. The project has developed a web based geospatial software application free of charge to users. The software called Your Local Net Zero Hub enables Local Energy Planners to use various layers of data to analyse and design ways to decarbonise their areas using LCTs that best suit their constituents needs. The tool provides clear visibility of the impact of these plans and help them make informed decisions.

What makes it innovative

Your Local Net Zero Hub empowers Local Energy Planners to engage confidently through the process of conducting LAEPs and collaborating with UK Power Networks’ Net Zero Team through the tiered assessment framework. UK Power Networks will then use the completed and validated LAEPs to improve energy network forecasting over the next 25 years. With more confidence in the forecasting based on robust and validated energy plans, UK Power Networks will be able to act on reinforcing the energy network to support the plans.

Your Local Net Zero Hub includes a breadth of functionality and delivers against the original and the evolved requirements defined by the Local Authorities, energy partners, and community energy groups. Included are over 60 different datasets that are either, third party open or shared, UK Power Networks’ data, or modelled by our delivery partner Advanced Infrastructure. Combined, the data and functionality empower users to:

  • Learn about energy planning concepts
  • Build decarbonisation projects at a property level for their areas
  • Manage stakeholder consultations on decarbonisation plans
  • Compare DFES scenarios for their areas and their own plans
  • Identify long-term scenario modelling for their areas

What we’re learning

The software development activities completed in March 2024 with the project transitioning software from Beta to Live later in the year. However, here are still many areas that have been identified for further enhancements, including UI, product, and data improvements that could be included in the software. These are being managed following the agile process of definition and prioritisation. They will also be further validated with users and will form the basis of an ongoing product roadmap. Some examples of the proposed enhancements include:

  • Enhanced potential analysis: – To assess data improvements on existing datasets and explore additional for the placement of technologies, and to provide a wider view of potential impacts
  • Shared plans: – To provide an improved experience and clear view of data shared between a Local Authority and DNO, to support joint understanding and feedback
  • Scenario enhancements: – To provide better tools for DFES comparisons, and provide more localised scenario outputs
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