Developing a multi-criteria assessment framework for smart local energy systems

Christina Francis, Alessa Sierra Costa, R. Camilla Thomson, David Ingram

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Abstract / Description of output

Smart local energy systems (SLES) are being developed to exploit digital technology and the Internet of Things to connect various energy vectors such as transport, heat and power through flexible energy supply, demand, and storage. They are expected to contribute to efforts towards resolving the energy trilemma of producing cleaner energy, at an affordable price, with acceptable energy security.

SLES also have the potential to have wide ranging impacts that might exceed their initial goals. Many of these align to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), demonstrating the potential for advanced technological changes such as SLES in a developed economy to have an impact on factors that are an aspiration for the whole world.

However, due to the innovative nature of these systems, no method for assessing their performance is yet in place. There are no known or universally accepted standards defining and measuring the performance of SLES. To ensure that their potential is realised, projects and funders need to be able to assess the performance of these projects and understand what works, for whom and in what context.

A multi-criteria assessment (MCA) tool for SLES is currently being developed to help identify how well an installation meets its aims for sustainability. It is being constructed as a tool for developers and other interested stakeholders including policymakers, end users and regulators to get a better understanding of the multiple benefits associated with these projects. It will allow the performance of a SLES to be analysed across a broad number of areas, extending beyond the key performance indicators (KPIs) of individual projects and the Prospering from the Energy Revolution (PFER) Challenge programme.

The creation of such a tool is a multi-faceted process that must include the expectations of different stakeholders. It must also be flexible enough to accommodate the diversity of projects and their specific goals, while at the same time providing a robust framework to assess the different stages of development and their level of alignment towards success.

This report describes the first stages in its development. It is based on an extensive literature review, an analysis of stakeholders and their roles and an initial consultation with stakeholders
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)ISBN 978-1-909522-63-3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Developing a multi-criteria assessment framework for smart local energy systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this