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Milford Haven : Energy Kingdom – System Architecture Report

Milford Haven: Energy Kingdom is a two-year project, exploring what a decarbonised smart local energy system could look like for Milford Haven, Pembroke and Pembroke Dock.

The project explores the potential of hydrogen as part of a multi-vector approach to decarbonisation. Central to the project, and to achieving Net Zero, is a commitment to engage with the community and local industry, providing insight and opportunities for growth.

The ambition is to gather detailed insight into the whole energy system around Milford Haven, to identify and design a future smart local energy system based on a truly multi-vector approach and comprehensive energy systems architecture.

The transition to Net Zero requires action across the economy. As the UK’s largest energy port, Milford Haven is an industrial cluster that can handle 30% of total UK gas demand, is home to Europe’s largest gas power station powering 3.5 million homes and businesses, has ambitions to build 90MW of floating offshore wind, supports 5,000 jobs and injects £324m to the Pembrokeshire economy.

This work describes the outcomes of the effort to define designs of future energy system architectures, combining; technology, the interconnectivity between them and data; with markets, trading platforms and policies; with business models and defined organisational governance. The aim of these designs is to provide:

  • The basis for a roadmap for the next phases of development and implementation,
  • Confidence to innovators and investors in the future longevity of investments in hydrogen and,
  • A common basis of understanding for all stakeholders wishing to contribute to the Milford Haven: Energy Kingdom.

Key points

A hydrogen enabled economy is one where a significant range of energy and services are delivered through hydrogen.

However, this project is multi-faceted and saw the team investigate local renewable energy, including solar, onshore wind, future offshore wind and biomass for decarbonised gas transition; diversified seed markets for hydrogen across buildings, transport and industry; consumer trials of fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen-ready heating systems.

The report is structured to provide context, then to set the structures for possible system arrangements which could emerge in the future, detail about technical, governance and market considerations and finally a set of trading platform requirements to underpin the delivery of such arrangements.

The core findings of this large piece of work are difficult to summarise however the following points aim to capture them.

1. Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES’) are dominated by a huge number of complex inter-relationships.

  • People to technology to business models to markets to regulations to policies
  • Local areas to adjacent locales, regions and national systems
  • Vector to vector interfaces (between electricity, natural gas, hydrogen, water, liquid fuels)
  • Production and usage (supply and demand) including storage
  • Actor to actor in the value chain (people, organisations and businesses)
  • Capital investment and operational revenue

A whole systems approach is critical to ensure that development in one area isn’t at the expense of another. This is difficult, but the complexity is there whether it is managed or not. The approach we’ve demonstrated here, to consider the depth and breadth and the interplay between all entities while managing the complexity could act as a template for other places and initiatives to benefit from.

2. That, although, Net Zero might be driven locally there are key enablers which are currently in the hands of central government and include:

  • Effective carbon pricing regulation
  • Production support initiatives to support asset construction
  • Regulating emergent monopolies as hydrogen producers emerge in small numbers
  • An agreed approach to network and infrastructure cost recovery
  • Supplier obligations (if appropriate) to encourage uptake of low-carbon gases
  • Publication of standards, particularly on purity and quality so that innovators have confidence as to the operation of their equipment.

Without many of these there is only so far local authority, industry and other stakeholders can currently go before hitting major regulatory or legal barriers (especially with hydrogen given its early maturity).

3. This report identifies a number of actions at varying levels (central government, future discussions, immediate actions and local decisions) which form the basis of required next steps. They are collated and summarised in section 11 (given the number of them they are not reprinted here).

Read the report

Milford Haven : Energy Kingdom – System Architecture Report

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