The Greater Manchester Local Energy Market (GMLEM) project has ambitious plans to revolutionise energy networks and help the city-region achieve it’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2038.
Our role on the project is to empower Greater Manchester (GM) citizens to be involved with developing plans and decision making, ensuring that the local energy market (LEM) is designed with a much broader understanding of people’s needs and challenges.
As part of this work we’ve developed a number of activities to reach out to and hear from people from all walks of life. We’ve cycled across GM speaking with people about the coming changes to our energy system and what it means for them; we’ve interviewed people who use heat pumps at home and who drive electric vehicles to understand their experiences of low-carbon technology.
In the final few months of this two year project we will host a Citizens’ Jury where a group of 12 people, carefully selected to represent the demographics of GM, will help with decision making on the governance of the LEM.
What is a LEM?
Ultimately, the LEM will allow the city-region to manage its own power supply.
It aims to:
- Increase local renewable electricity generation.
- Decarbonising how we heat our buildings.
- Increase the diversity and flexibility of our electricity supply.
- Allow for the increase in growth of electric vehicles and new low carbon technology.
Not sure what a local energy market is? Take a look at the animation below to find out more.
What will the LEM look like?
While the final details are still being worked out, the LEM is looking at how energy is generated, traded, transported, supplied and used across the city region.
There are two key elements to the project:
- Energy systems planning – We are taking a full view of how we plan the new energy system that includes forward planning and working closely with the 10 Greater Manchester Local Authorities to understand how we use energy now and how we are likely to use it in the future. This allows us to plan for how our energy assets and networks need to change.
- Creating a platform for trading energy – This will be a bespoke LEM aggregation platform via an app and website that integrates smart technologies across heat, power and transport and links into local distribution and national transmission platforms. Together, these two sides of the project show us how Greater Manchester can build its own local energy market.
Who will use it?
In time, everyone! We are trying to build a system that allows everyone living and working in Greater Manchester to use energy differently.
User experience is at the heart of the project design. The LEM platform will be used by commercial properties, owner occupiers, social housing tenants and the public sector, so it needs to be intuitive, easy to use and understandable.
We’ve sought opinions and input from the general public, private sector businesses and the public sector to make sure that the LEM does what everyone needs it to do. Special consideration has been given to ensure that it protects the most vulnerable in society from the impact of rising energy bills or poor-quality homes.
In its initial phases, it’s likely that the LEM will be used by the private sector, with public sector and general public following in later years.
What are the benefits?
Greater Manchester Combined Authority is working to make Greater Manchester a place where everyone can live a good life, growing up, getting on and growing old in a greener, fairer , more prosperous city region. A key part of these plans is protecting our environment, and that’s why Greater Manchester is seeking to become carbon neutral by 2038.
A new local energy market will reduce carbon emissions and consumer bills, providing market confidence and leading to increased local investment, with the accelerated deployment of renewable energy and storage assets.
It will help make Greater Manchester a globally leading city region, where we can all be proud to live and work.
How will it be funded?
The GMLEM project is funded by a £3m grant from the Industrial Strategy Challenge fund, delivered by UK Research and Innovation, and is running from July 2020 to June 2022. The project is led by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and partners in the project are Electricity North West; Energy Systems Catapult, Cadent; Hitachi Europe; Bruntwood; Ovo Energy; Daikin Europe; Northwards Housing; Regen SW; Cornwall Insights; Graham Oakes Consulting and Carbon Co-op.
The local energy market project will see Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs draw up plans to increase energy efficiency and pave the way for new technologies and low-carbon infrastructure in the future.
The project will outline the integration of energy system activities at a local scale including generation, distribution, storage, energy efficiency and storage. At the heart of the project is an emphasis on local energy masterplanning and the development of a local flexibility platform for the city region.
When will it be ready?
Our current focus is on designing the LEM market and as part of this we are currently piloting elements of the process with select numbers of Greater Manchester residents. Once we know the outcomes of these pilots, we will be in a better position to understand final timescales.
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