The systems that deliver energy to homes and industry have traditionally involved little or no local monitoring or control. In addition, different vectors, such as gas, electricity or transport, have been managed and controlled as separate systems.
To provide the low cost decarbonised energy that will be required by 2050, these systems must be adapted to changes in energy generation, supply and consumption. In particular, smarter more localised methods of monitoring and control will be required along with closer links been the vectors.
The Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) is working to overcome the challenges involved in transforming the system by developing an overall strategy and delivering a number of specific programmes.
The Future Power System Architecture programme takes a top-down approach to the challenges involved in delivering energy to consumers. In contrast, the Smart Systems and Heat programme takes a bottom-up approach. Among other things, it will help local authorities design cost-effective energy systems for their regions using Local Area Energy Planning, address the challenges within the customers’ homes using the Home Energy Services Gateway and provide insight into how customers feel about the required changes in technology that will be required using Consumer Insights.
These programmes, along with other work by the ESC, industry and academia, will help address the challenges involved in implementing a smarter and more closely integrated multi-vector energy system. This is vital if we are to meet the future challenges of low cost, low carbon and secure energy.