Independent and technology-agnostic, whole systems modelling linking national to local  decision-making on systems and networks

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Integrating local and national networks

The internationally peer-reviewed Energy System Modelling Environment (ESME) is the UK’s leading techno-economic whole system model – providing in-depth evidence for industry, academia, the Climate Change Committee and the UK Government.

The ESME Networks model supports you understand the implications of national energy system designs at a more local level, with a focus on the infrastructure required to deliver Net Zero systems.

EMSE Networks uses locally available data (MSOA or Local Authority scale) to break down national least-cost whole energy system designs into more spatially granular scales before defining infrastructure requirements to meet those demands, enabling ESME regional outputs to be interpreted at a more granular level.


Case Studies

Future Energy Grid Wales

Network investment is key to Wales’s decarbonisation and economic ambitions, with Wales ambitious target to reach Net Zero by 2050, which requires a re-think on the electricity and gas networks infrastructure needed to power low carbon transport and heating into the future.

The Welsh Government appointed Energy Systems Catapult, as an independent and trusted body, to develop scenarios of the various paths Wales could take to decarbonise the energy system, drawing on the perspectives of a wide range of people across Wales.

The work is informing the Future Wales: the National Plan 2040′, and provides robust evidence to enable network operators to plan and build the networks we will need for Net Zero and the interim 2030 targets.

Wales aims to be the first country to have a joint approach to developing gas and electricity networks. All the energy network operators in Wales, and the regulator Ofgem, have agreed to work with the Welsh Government to develop a long-term plan for energy networks.

The work will be carried out alongside the programme of detailed Local Area Energy Planning (LAEP) work across Wales, and the two projects will use the same evidence and assumptions.

Energy Systems Catapult utilised our internationally peer-reviewed Energy System Modelling Environment (ESME) to produce pathways to 2050 in 5-year periods with between 3 and 5 different whole energy system scenarios.

Once the scenarios were settled we used the unique functionality of our ESME Networks tool to provide additional network insights within Wales to 2050.

This includes the complex interactions of power, gas, heat, and transport and the different ways in which our energy might be supplied, managed and consumed in the future. Constraints include Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions targets, resource availability and technology deployment rates, as well as operational factors that ensure adequate system capacity and flexibility.

“The Welsh Government is delighted to publish our next step in providing that certainty. The Future Energy Grids for Wales Report sets out the results of taking a whole systems approach to identify the requirements for gas and electricity networks. We believe Wales is the first country to take this holistic approach across power, heat and transport.”

Julie James MS, Welsh Government, Minister for Climate Change

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