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Reporting back from our Local Supply event

Local Supply of electricity

About the event

For the 5th Community Energy Fortnight, we held an event, on 30th June 2017, to explore the topic of Local Supply of electricity (i.e. local customers purchasing from local electricity generation).

We’ve held the event to help, because we have heard from an increasing amount of stakeholders investigating their options for local supply of energy, and being left confused. This was a timely initiative, as “Give communities full and fair access to the energy markets, particularly where scale and capacity prevent communities from selling or using their energy locally” is one of the three key asks from the sector.

The agenda looked at the benefits of local supply, and at the reasons behind what our stakeholders are often left with: the sense that little options are available today. The agenda also explained the commercial and technical building blocks that enable local energy markets, and shared examples of successful trials.

We had several speakers from a variety of backgrounds (academic, smart-tech, community energy, and climate change campaigning), all experts in their field, who informed the conversation. Below are their presentations.

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Presentations

Dr Stephen Hall, University of Leeds on ‘Why Local Supply - the energy wholesystem pitch

Dr Mary Gillie, Founder, Energy Local on ‘The building blocks for local energy markets

Andy Kilner, CTO, Open Utility on ‘Does the technology for peer-to-peer electricity trading exist?’

Charles Bradshaw-Smith, CEO, Smart Klub , on ‘Project SCENe

Leo Murray, Director of strategy , 10:10, on ‘Why Local Supply - the political case’

What we learnt from the day

We’re delighted that the Q&A, as well as the format of the agenda, allowed for a lot of interaction between delegates, the experts, and Northern Powergrid staff. This was beneficial to all parties, and some conversations will most likely continue in the longer term. We certainly made a few appointments following initial contact on the day!

The key message from the experts and the members of the audience were:

  • Local energy supply models could deliver an attractive range of benefits,
  • Private wire is not an efficient way of delivering local supply of electricity,
  • The complexity of the mechanisms supporting the energy system mean that Local supply models are not fully accessible for now,
  • Lower bills act as a reward for consumers for changing behaviour and using local systems more efficiently,
  • Protection for vulnerable consumers must remain a priority,
  • Transparency in the energy system could be improved,
  • Regulation is a barrier to greater diversity in electricity supply models.

An event summary reports back in more detail on the messages shared during the day long conference. Click here to access it.

Finally, Northern Powergrid is ‘open for business’ in commercial innovation. If you have a Local Energy project or trial that you’d like to discuss we’d like to hear from you, get in touch on Community.Energy@Northernpowergrid.com

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