Local Energy Systems Research Service

Enabling subscribers to take advantage of emerging opportunities and mitigate or avoid risks presented by Local Energy Systems

A Local Energy System is a small energy system, containing both (renewable) energy resources and consumers, in which production and consumption of energy are largely balanced. There are various terms for this concept, including Microgrids, Local Energy Systems or Local Energy Communities, each with a somewhat different emphasis.

They may also contain conventional solutions with a heat production component (e.g. cogeneration) and dispatchable generation units (e.g. a diesel generator) which have the potential to reduce the overall CO2 content of energy supply.

Local Energy Systems may provide solutions to specific technical, social or economic challenges, but may also present opportunities for innovative business and ownership models.

Essentially, they are a microcosm of a conventional energy system.


Local Energy Systems typically seek to match local energy resources with local demand within a bounded, small energy system. The concept is now moving from island and remote communities into mainstream markets, from subsidy to value-driven systems. Whilst this is unlikely to result in wholesale grid defection, we expect to see increasing local autonomy.

This raises significant challenges to incumbent energy suppliers and network operators, whilst simultaneously providing opportunities for innovative technical and business models, both to incumbents and to new market entrants.

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However, despite the growing interest in Local Energy Systems, there is little clarity about:

  • How they are emerging and what is driving this

  • How, where and the rate at which they will grow

  • Interactions between LES and the wider energy system

  • Business models, commercial structures and regulatory issues

  • The nature of opportunities and threats arising – for incumbents and others

The Delta-ee Research Service will focus on these questions and will provide ongoing, syndicated research on the development of Local Energy Systems.  The research service has a European focus, complemented by a global outlook to capture innovations and developments relevant for the European market.

 

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Want to find out more?

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If you'd like to know more about Delta-EE's Local Energy Systems Research, get in touch with the team:

Jeremy Harrison

Jeremy Harrison

Local Energy Systems Research Service Manager

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