Delegates discussed the next steps for local energy in the UK - including the allocation of funding for and future financing of local energy schemes, regulatory priorities and developing local strategies.
Further sessions focused on:
- The Smart Export Guarantee Scheme (SEG) scheduled to begin from January 2020 - requiring licensed suppliers to create local, user-specific tariffs for customers with energy storage, rooftop solar, and electric vehicles; and
- The impact of the closure of the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) scheme, which had led to expansion in small-scale generation.
In preparation of the SEG scheme going live, delegates also assessed whether its mechanisms go far enough to support small-scale generators - including potential challenges around tariff rates and whether compensation will be sufficient for households - as well as what is needed from a market-based framework to aid the transition to local, smart energy systems.
Further sessions examined the future for the regulatory framework and whether more should be done to support the growth of smart local energy markets.
This conference took place in the context of:
- the Industrial Strategy and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, and the £102m funding for smart and community driven energy projects - including the flagship prospering from the energy revolution programme, the smart local energy projects competition, and the innovating technological components scheme - supporting systems which provide cleaner and cheaper energy services, and smoother integration with the energy system; and
- the ongoing Energy Network Codes Review and its onsultation - aimed at adapting to significant growth in low-carbon, small-scale and smart technologies.
As the energy transition accelerates, attendees evaluated how all regions in the UK can engage and foster community ownership of energy projects, with assessment on:
- measures for overcoming planning and delivery challenges for renewable energy assets;
- how tailored approaches for rural communities can be developed - in light of the £10m The Rural Community Energy Fund;
- What steps are needed for ensuring local authorities, community groups and industry cooperate on local projects; and
- What more can be done to attract investment and demonstrate project viability.
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