Project duration: July 2018 to July 2019
The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) commissioned Regen, with partners Pell Frischmann, the Landmark Practice and the University of the West of England, to undertake a research project on planning for a smart energy future.
The research aimed to understand the potential for the planning system to take a proactive, forward-looking and positive approach to supporting the UK’s transition to a smart energy future.
The report highlights the lack of attention given to ‘smart energy’ in national planning policy and guidance and the gap between what happens on the ground and the opportunities offered by smart energy.
“Nothing should be planned without demonstrating it is fit to take its place in a net-zero emissions future… It makes no sense for what is planned and built today to be delivered in a way, or in places, that will require costly retrofitting tomorrow,” says the report.
The report finds notable strides have been taken to cut emissions using the existing planning toolkit, but the pace of change is out of step with the ambitions set out in the Clean Growth Strategy and what is needed to meet the UK’s legal commitments to decarbonise.
Focussed on the south west, the research involved extensive stakeholder engagement with planning professionals and companies representing the smart energy sector. We undertook a survey, focus groups and one to one interviews, enabling us to examine current barriers, emerging practice, and future challenges and opportunities with relevant stakeholders
Project lead: Hazel Williams