Local Authority Engagement in UK Energy Systems: Highlights

28 Apr 2017

There is a groundswell of support for the idea that municipal governments are key to affordable, secure, low carbon energy futures, with a surge of interest from UK city leaders, central governments and advisory bodies, reinforced further at the COP21 Paris climate negotiations. There is however limited evidence about the capacity and capability of 21st century UK local governments to act, and about the suitability of support from central government policy frameworks. Responses from hard-pressed officials suggested that, despite support for the proposition that municipal government is significant for mitigation of climate change, new policy and resources are needed to enable effective action. Given the emerging consensus over the value of municipal initiatives, we need to know more about what is being done now, and what could be achieved with more supportive policy, resources and markets.

This research is the first systematic overview of local energy projects across the complete population of UK Local Authorities. Our findings indicate the challenges faced by local authorities in moving from, often ambitious, plans to implementation.