Our Annual Impact Reviews provide a snapshot of how we are helping clean companies thrive by tackling the hardest Net Zero challenges

As the world began comes to grips with a global energy crisis, putting energy matters front and centre in the consciousness of Government, business and the public – backing Britain’s clean tech innovators has never been more important.

There has never been a more exciting time to be at the forefront of innovation in clean energy.

The background of the global energy crisis only reinforced the need to accelerate the transition to a net zero energy system. Indeed it underlines one of Energy System Catapult’s key arguments – the need for whole system thinking. The implications of the crisis stretch from global geopolitics to the efficiency of boilers in people’s homes. And we are proud to be helping innovators large and small capture every economic opportunity from that transition.

The energy crisis followed the pandemic in emphasising 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.

The momentum created by the climate change talks in Glasgow have further bolstered investor support for clean innovation, in particular driven by the ambitious commitments of the financial sector. That has created incredible opportunities for SMEs, and this report shows how we are helping them get ‘match-fit’ for that opportunity.

Companies like AmpX, Connected Response, arbnco, RotaHeat, Caldera, Atamate, Ventive and BlockDox are pioneering new technologies, new products and services, new business models with ESC as they start their growth journey. At the same time, we are helping more established names such as OVO, EoN and National Grid get ready for the very different energy system of the future.

This year also saw us reveal work on a new approach to getting help to the most vulnerable, Warmth on Prescription. At the heart of this is a new approach to tackling fuel poverty, by seeing the transition to a low carbon economy as an opportunity for innovation to make people’s lives and homes better – not just as a threat.

Our work on helping local authorities decarbonise their areas continued apace with the launch of Net Zero Go, a one stop-shop to help get low carbon projects off the ground. We are helping understand what needs to happen for complex non-domestic sites shift to net zero. And we are helping think through the ‘whole system’ implications of the transition for Government, investors and industry.

Annual Impact Review 2021/22

Discover how Energy Systems Catapult tackled some of the most difficult challenges on the way to Net Zero during 2021/22.

Key points

Energy Systems Catapult is here to help innovative businesses tackle the most difficult challenges facing the energy sector:

Energy Launchpad & International – opened doors at home and abroad to create start-up success stories

Energy Launchpad worked with scores of start-up innovators during 2021/22 derisking commercialisation with tailored incubation and providing acceleration support for scale-up innovators.  SMEs that had been supported by Launchpad, such as Ventive and Sero, also raised over £44m private investment and public funding .

Internationally, Taiwan Power Company commissioned Energy Systems Catapult to help design a Net Zero roadmap, while in India the two-year project Innovating for Clean Air (IfCA), worked with a range of innovators and partners in India to tackle air pollution from vehicles linked to 67 million deaths in India in 2019.

Net Zero Homes – helped home energy innovations grow fast, delivering peerless real-world testing, skills and investment for zero carbon homes.

Our Living Lab ran trials with Amp X, arbnco and Caldera, while partnering with the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers to recruit households with disabilities to ensure they are considered in innovation trials.

We launched the world-first Whole Energy Systems Accelerator – an energy innovation test and evaluation facility in partnership with the Power Networks Demonstration Centre at the University of Strathclyde –  with a £2.5m investment from Scottish Government.

The multi-year £14.6m Electrification of Heat demonstration project continued with the aim of demonstrating the feasibility of a large-scale roll-out of heat pumps. And the ground-breaking Warm Home Prescription piloted a service with the NHS to help vulnerable people with both cold-sensitive health conditions and low incomes, to stay warm and well at home, and out of hospital.

Net Zero Sites – helped make energy savings and cut emissions across public, commercial or industrial estates.

The £20million Modern Energy Partners (MEP) innovation pilot concluded. MEP in collaboration with selected government departments and the NHS explored how to decarbonise the public sector estate to help the government reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2032. While work to decarbonise industrial sites included a project at Milford Haven focused on supporting the transition to hydrogen and renewable energy, within this major Welsh energy industry cluster.

Net Zero Places – empowered and advised Local Authorities, Network Operators, and Central & Devolved Governments to take Net Zero action.

The first step for local authorities on the way to Net Zero is to understand their baseline with Local Energy Asset Representation. LEARs were delivered for a range of councils including Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Uttlesford in Essex and York & North Yorkshire.

The second step is a Local Area Energy Plans (LAEPs) and the Catapult delivered nine new LAEPs in 2021/22, including Greater Manchester and Peterborough.

The third step is the deliver Net Zero projects on the ground and Energy Systems Catapult launched the Net Zero Go platform, which  had received 180 registrations from Local Authorities around the country by March 2022.

Whole Systems & Networks – equipped energy leaders with the evidence, insights and innovations needed to deliver the future Net Zero energy system.

The Scottish Government commissioned the Catapult to undertake whole-systems modelling to develop a range of scenarios for the Scotland to make the Net Zero energy transition by 2045.

Our multi-year Net Zero Carbon Policy project explored: deep industrial decarbonisation and how to mitigate competitiveness impacts and carbon leakage, the Case for a Carbon Regulator, developed Digital Tools for Carbon Accounting and led sector thinking on expanding the UK Emissions Trading System. While our Rethinking Electricity Markets project produced influential reports on Locational Pricing, including one commissioned by Octopus Energy.

Former Energy Systems Catapult chief executive Philip New led the EV Energy Taskforce developing a cross-sector view on developing the charging infrastructure to enable the Government’s ban of petrol/diesel car sales by 2030/35.

The Catapult led the Energy Digitalisation Taskforce commissioned by the UK Government, Ofgem and Innovate UK to develop an integrated data and digital strategy for the sector.

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