Business models for smart local energy systems-a triple layered perspective

Pappas, Dimitrios and Braunholtz-Speight, Timothy and Hannon, Matthew and Webb, Janette and Fuentes González, Fabián and Sharmina, Maria (2023) Business models for smart local energy systems-a triple layered perspective. Frontiers in Sustainable Energy Policy, 1. ISSN 2813-4982 (

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Smart and local energy systems (SLES) offer an alternative to large-scale energy provision and a boost to the transition towards a low-carbon economy. However, the Business Model Canvas (BMC), an increasingly used framework for analyzing SLES, does not adequately describe the multiple value streams that can characterize the business models of numerous SLES projects. In this research, we modify and use the triple-layered BMC to analyze 18 SLES projects selected globally. The decarbonisation, digitalization and democratization associated with SLES, means that the value proposition extends beyond straightforward economic value and towards environmental and social value, and we find a wide reporting gap of environmental and social elements. We argue that the triple-layered BMC, which incorporates the environmental and social layers into its analysis, better reflects real-world business model complexity. We provide a common framework to SLES stakeholders for identifying and adding environmental and social value to their business models.