Innovation is crucial to transforming the UK energy system to meet carbon reduction targets and achieve our clean growth ambitions.
Energy Systems Catapult is playing a central role providing independent Insights and Evidence to help government, academia, and businesses, identify innovation priorities towards delivering a low carbon economy and helping businesses overcome systemic barriers and accelerate their products, services and value propositions to market.
The Challenge and Opportunity
Transforming the UK energy system to be clean, secure and affordable, will require innovation across a range of technologies at multiple scales. Understanding the potential impact of innovation requires detailed technical knowledge of individual solutions, but also a view of how they might impact – and be impacted by – developments in the wider energy system. For the Catapult, a whole system perspective must consider:
- energy use in buildings, transport and industry;
- energy conversion steps including power, heat, hydrogen, biofuels;
- energy resources such as renewables, biomass, nuclear and strategic use of fossil fuels;
- multiple scales from national, regional and local, through to individual estates and buildings; and
- multiple lenses such as technological, economic, regulatory, policy and social.
As an expert, independent, technology-agnostic organisation, Energy Systems Catapult is uniquely placed to utilise our strong portfolio of capabilities, assets and highly skilled experts to provide energy sector stakeholders with Insights and Evidence that help to transform the energy system at least cost.
Our whole systems analysis service brings together specialist expertise across multiple technology areas, combining this with a whole energy system modelling capability. Our models include the Energy Systems Modelling Environment (ESME) for national and regional energy system planning, EnergyPath Networks for local energy system planning; along with a suite of supplementary models providing enhanced analysis around specific aspects of the energy system.
The Catapult works closely with government, academia and industry, to develop and disseminated Insights and Evidence that help innovators overcome the technical, regulatory, economic and social barriers blocking routes to market.
Insights and Evidence includes:
- Energy Systems Catapult has a one to one and institutional relationships, through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), with the academic community.
- The Catapult is consulting with industry to design an enduring industry engagement model at senior levels within the private sector, including SMEs. These formal stakeholder engagement practices will be reinforced by adopting, for example, the specialist strategy advisory group (SAG) mechanism that the Energy Technologies Institute developed to enable free exchange of innovation thinking with subject matter experts from industry and academia.
- The Catapult is therefore also developing a range of tools and platforms – such as the Energy Knowledge Exchange – to help target and curate sector knowledge and information so innovators can navigate their way through the landscape, gaining quick access to latest information on projects, potential partners, funding opportunities, policy and regulatory actions across the sector to support innovation priorities.