Energy System Integration Guides: Distributed Energy
Published: 28 September 2018

To transform the energy system to meet UK carbon reduction targets and achieve our clean growth ambitions while delivering savings for consumers, an increasingly significant role is required of solutions that combine local distributed generation with smart, flexible consumption and demand management.

Yet both public and private sector energy consumers and the supply chain, currently have limited expertise to scope, install and operate these ‘integrated energy solutions’ . This has been compounded by the current focus on single technology  distributed energy solutions, which can have unintended negative consequences on the wider energy system. Informed consumers and an attuned supply chain for integrated energy solutions do not yet exist.

As part of the Energy System Integration Guides (ESIG) project, Energy Systems Catapult carried out a feasibility study to investigate how the public sector estate could help stimulate the market for integrated energy solutions using campus scale sites (e.g. hospitals, prisons).

Working with Energy Systems Catapult

Working with Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Norwich Biosciences Institutes cluster of buildings and facilities, the Catapult team developed an early pilot methodology and suite of tools to assist campus energy managers to evaluate a range of potential integrated energy solutions.

The project delivered:

  • a £2million follow-on project – the project provided the business case that has enabled Energy Systems Catapult to create the Modern Energy Partners (MEP) follow-on project – in partnership with the Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy;
  • skills – energy managers of complex sites struggle to have the time, resources, or up to date knowledge to confidently take on an energy transformation at scale with present practice. This project and MEP is equipping energy managers with the skills and tools they need to take on these challenges.

Full report – Energy System Integration Guides: Distributed Energy

What’s next?

Modern Energy Partners is now live and running a pilot of design projects with a small number of campus scale sites in the UK to March 2019. Following on from this, the aspiration is to grow MEP to a larger number of sites and begin deploying integrated energy solutions on the ground at scale.

With support from the Catapult MEP team, Cardiff University has also recently had success in winning funding from the EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration flexible research fund,  to develop a ‘Decision support tool for the operation of public sector multi-energy systems’.