For the UK to reach our target of Net Zero carbon emissions carbon and achieve clean growth ambitions, the transformation of the energy system needs to consider the integration of the physical, digital and market systems.
Energy Systems Catapult is applying the principles of systems engineering to develop Energy System Integration Guides for a range of stakeholders to help them integrate new products and services to open markets, focus investments, create jobs and deliver export opportunities.
The Challenge and Opportunity
Transforming the UK energy system to be clean, secure and affordable requires integrating and optimising solutions and innovations from a range of previously separate systems including power, heat, transport, and across the physical, digital and market systems.
To effectively integrate systems, solutions must be considered from all relevant aspects – technology, people, policies, regulation, business models, market mechanisms and much more. It is also important to compare a range of concepts and innovations to find the appropriate balance between opportunity and risk, considering the views of all relevant parties, and managing the inevitable conflict between them.
Energy Systems Catapult is developing a cohesive set of integration guides that have significant potential to help a range of stakeholders open new markets, focus investment costs and future-proof innovations for the UK energy system.
Our Energy System Integration Guides (ESIG) team works to support innovators, SMEs, site owners, innovation portfolio owners, system owners, and demonstration portfolio owners. ESIG aims to provide early identification of collaboration needs, avoiding the trap where £M are spent, and years wasted, “developing the wrong thing”.
The ESIG team is developing guides that will provide early identification of integration issues that need to be addressed if innovations are going to be brought to market in an eﬀective way. The outcomes may determine that the system must change to take advantage of the innovation, the innovation must change to be acceptable by the system, or both must change.
ESIG are aiming to help stakeholders by:
- Identifying valuable information about integration risks that need to be addressed;
- Guiding assessments of an innovations effect on the system, the eﬀect of the system on the innovation, and to identify changes that must be made to deliver a successful solution.
- Working with any complex socio-technical system at any level of decomposition e.g. system of systems, system, element or component.
Aspects of Integration
Working with the Energy Revolution Integration Service we developed a framework called “Aspects of Integration” to try to encourage systems thinking and to open up some of the benefits that systems engineering can offer.
Aspects of Integration was developed by looking across many different industries, including defence and aerospace, and bringing together a framework to support the energy sector when it comes to identifying risks around system integration. There are eight different aspects we believe are key when thinking how an innovative solution can fit into the existing and evolving energy system and its environment.