Tuesday 26 January 2021

Around 60% of local authorities find it difficult to access data needed to tackle net zero

Around 60% of local authorities find it difficult to access data needed to tackle net zero

Although 75% of local authorities have declared a climate emergency, 60% find it difficult to access the data required for them to make informed decisions to help achieve net zero.

This is according to a webinar held by technology and innovation centre, Energy Systems Catapult.

The non-profit found that most local authorities have access to a wide range of data, including GIS, housing and energy data. Whilst this information can enable local energy projects that address the climate emergency to take place, most authorities have admitted they lack the tools and expertise to put it to use.

Eric Brown, Chief Technology Officer at Energy Systems Catapult said: “Local authorities have a pivotal role to play in achieving net zero but they need access to data of a sufficient quality and granularity to enable them to act successfully. Smart local energy systems will be an important part of this.

“Not only do they address climate objectives, they can also deliver economic and social benefits and help build stronger, more resilient communities. Data is necessary to support good investment decision making and importantly this data must take both national and local perspectives if expected outcomes are to be delivered.”

Energy Systems Catapult has published a report, which has outlined some of its recommendations for local and national government on the journey to achieving net zero.

The report states the need to establish independent open-data institutions, to arrange the access of commercially-sensitive data to businesses. It goes on to state that local authorities should collaborate with other regions, and utilise the resources within their area, such as universities, to help analyse and interpret data.

The findings of this report are being used to lead a digital working group aimed at supporting local authorities to access the data they need to meet their sustainability aims.

Additionally, a Local Energy Systems Toolkit is being developed to help local authorities overcome challenges in developing Smart, Local Energy Systems including how to access the data they need to make decisions.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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