Storage and Flexibility Modelling

Introduction

The Storage and Flexibility Model (SFM) provides the most comprehensive view to date on how storage and flexibility technologies could help the UK decarbonise at least cost.

Owned by Energy Systems Catapult, the SFM has been built in response to the increasingly complex challenge of balancing supply and demand in the energy system.

The Challenge And Opportunity

Without a deeper understanding of how storage and flexibility technologies could help in balancing energy networks, we will at best end up with a system that costs more than it needs to and at worst one that fails to manage supply and demand.

Storage technologies, such as hot water tanks and batteries, are predicted to become a more integral part of the future energy system. As demand for electricity is expected to see a big rise, these technologies will help ensure networks can cope and allow homes and businesses to avoid peak times when energy is more expensive.

To tackle this challenge and address a collective lack of knowledge about the extent of the role storage and flexibility could play in the future, the SFM was designed to provide the clearest ever picture of how these technologies could assist as we move towards a net-zero.

Our Asset

The SFM casts a spotlight on the role of storage and other means of providing flexibility in a user-specified future energy system.

Key benefits include:

  • Capability to represent multiple vectors, network levels, geographic regions and timeframes; including sub-hourly system services.
  • Discover new insights applicable to many use-cases including long-term capacity planning, assessing the value of specific storage technologies, and identifying the system service requirements of future energy systems.
  • Ability to represent long term strategic and short term operational uncertainties.
  • Complementary to the Energy System Modelling Environment (ESME) which provides less detail relating to storage but more expeditiously explores the rest of the energy system.

Our Approach

The Modelling team can offer:

  • Whole System Modelling and Analysis – providing an understanding of energy systems from a national and regional level, to reveal the most cost-effective transition pathway to a smarter, lower carbon, decentralised and flexible energy system. We collaborate with academic and industry partners, to gain access to a range of software-based energy system planning and modelling tools.
  • Project development and delivery – using whole system modelling and analysis outputs to help decision-makers put strategies and action plans together for different transition pathways available, including economic benefits and the latest innovations.
  • Expert advice and collaboration – to promote greater cohesion across the sector, by actively encouraging businesses, policymakers, regulators and investors to take a whole system perspective.

To find out more, contact info@es.catapult.org.uk