While one issue continued to dominate the public consciousness in 2021, one of the positives to come out of the coronavirus crisis was a sense that science, technology and innovation had the extraordinary ability to rise to global challenges — such as Net Zero.

But additionally, it also emphasized how connected and integrated are our communities, our economies and our environment. And how these challenges need to be tackled in an equally integrated and systematic way.

In two areas in particular, we saw incredible progress over the year; decarbonising local places and the digitalisation of the energy system. In both cases, Energy Systems Catapult has led the way in creating new markets for innovators.

Our Place-based Net Zero Toolkit, including the pioneering Local Area Energy Planning is increasingly helping local authorities, energy networks, businesses and communities, by combining cutting edge whole system modelling with local stakeholder insights to support informed decision-making on infrastructure and business investment to create innovative low carbon markets in local places.

While our efforts in driving the Energy Data and Energy Digitalisation Taskforces has seen a huge amount of support across the sector, with many stakeholders wanting access to more data, better digital systems, and practical tools to help them navigate the complex landscape.

While there is an increasing appreciation of the growing importance of digital and data skills and literacy. We have seen new digital and data jobs created, collaborative industry groups emerge, numerous data projects receive significant funding and new data centric products and services launched. This is just the start of the transformation, but it is a fantastic start.

Annual Impact Review 2021

Discover how Energy Systems Catapult tackled some of the most difficult challenges on the way to Net Zero during 2021 – and see what’s happening in the year ahead.

Key points

Energy Systems Catapult is here to help innovative businesses tackle the most difficult challenges facing the energy sector, as the UK moves to a net zero economy and during 2021:

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