Independent and technology-agnostic, whole systems approach to accelerating clean innovations to market and tackling the hardest challenges on the way to Net Zero
Engineering an end to emissions
Energy Systems Catapult offer world class systems engineering, working with government, regulators, industry, academia and innovators to overcome barriers and navigate the transition to Net Zero.
We take a whole systems approach, considering the complex interactions of electricity, gas, heat, hydrogen, bioenergy and liquid fuels and the different ways in which our energy might be produced, stored, distributed and consumed for buildings, transport, industry and other uses in the future at the national, regional, local and individual level.
Our Infrastructure and Engineering team offering specialist knowledge and practical experience in technology development and deployment, considering the technological, engineering, economic, regulatory and policy implications for innovations and investment decisions.
What we offer
Technology development and deployment
We provide evidence-based guidance to the UK innovation community to help maximise the value of:
- Innovation assessments for new technologies, such as performance and cost characteristics
- Technical due-diligence
- Innovation management capability to support the progression of technologies towards commercialisation
- Market positioning and partnering options to accelerate innovations towards commercialisation
- Techno-economic analysis to assess the competitiveness of technologies and associated innovations in decarbonised future energy systems.
Supporting market and policy development
Our independent, whole systems approach can help develop market and policy frameworks that support new technologies deployed to optimise integration, deliver new services and value streams using multiple energy-vectors (electricity, heat, gas, hydrogen, etc).
Our areas of expertise
Energy Systems Catapult offers engineering expertise, technical insights and practical experience, supported by unique tools and data.
Building evidence and insight from a whole system perspective to assess the sustainability of land use change for biomass production in the UK
Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage
Building evidence and insight of the infrastructure requirements and opportunities available for CCUS application in the UK.
Assessing the impact of new technologies, developing and adapting infrastructure strategies and examining interactions between energy storage and other flexibility.
Building evidence for decision-making on infrastructure needs for hydrogen and carbon capture, including innovation assessments, industrial deployment and storage risks.
Assessing networks and energy storage within the context of whole energy systems, including new technologies, energy storage and system flexibility, and adapting infrastructure strategies.
Assessing nuclear potential of contemporary designs and new technologies including risk and cost reduction. Coupled with unique modelling on infrastructure costs, integration with district heating or hydrogen, and flexible power generation.
Offering expertise in solar, wind and marine generation, including: technology, systems and infrastructure. Informing decision making on investment to accelerate technology adoption.
Offering modelling, analysis and insight into the role of transport in future energy networks, optimising vehicle propulsion systems, consumer insight, market and policy frameworks, value chains, and new generation technologies.
Modelling for Road Freight
UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) commissioned Energy Systems Catapult and the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK to explore different pathways for reducing freight emissions from Heavy Goods Vehicles.
With little industry momentum and a severe lack of workable low emission prototype vehicles, the challenge was to develop an accurate and usable modelling tool to provide evidence that encouraged the UK transport sector to embrace cleaner alternatives.
Rather than focus on vehicle weights (like most existing models), we focused on the specific use cases (e.g. long-haul vs. local depot deliveries) to identify the technical specifications needed to achieve zero emissions and the infrastructure that will need to be in place to support the vehicle uptake.
The tool was used to engage the Department for Transport on:
- Including operators’ decision parameters and behaviours into modelling to better inform policy interventions and align operators’ choices with the required deployment of technologies and infrastructure.
- Assessing how policy decisions can support freight operators and infrastructure roll-out to facilitate carbon-free powertrains.
This project catalysed the need for development of a whole systems model for road freight, from which the ESME Freight model emerged.
Designing Net Zero sites
Cheshire, in the North West of England, is home to one of the UK’s largest industrial clusters.
The region features major manufacturing employers, including oil refining, glass manufacture, nuclear enrichment, chemical production and automotive. This concentration of industry means the area around Ellesmere Port consumes around 5% of the UK’s energy, with Cheshire West and Chester the fourth largest carbon emitter in the country with a climate emergency declared locally.
Energy Systems Catapult provided whole systems modelling and systems engineering capabilities to help the consortium identify a portfolio of opportunities across renewables, hydrogen, carbon capture, energy storage and smart grids which offer long-term, sustainable investment opportunities in net zero.
An investment blueprint has been developed which could see £1 billion spent on low carbon projects in Cheshire and nearly 3 million tonnes of CO2 saved by 2030.
Integrating Tidal Energy into the European Grid
The Integrating Tidal Energy into the European Grid (ITEG) project aims to generate a clean, predictable energy supply from renewable sources in areas with weak electricity networks.
Energy Systems Catapult is partnering with 15 cooperating organisations on this €11 million initiative, which is spearheaded by Interreg North-West Europe and led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) at their world-leading tidal test facility in the Orkney Islands off Scotland.
One innovative, multi-vector solution being tested by UK SME Orbital Marine Power. Their Orbital O2 next-generation 2MW floating tidal energy converter has been installed along with AREVA H2Gen’s new 500kW hydrogen electrolyser and a bespoke energy management system. This uses excess renewable electricity generation to create hydrogen that can be stored for use at a later date.
The consortium needed a partner to analyse the impact on the whole energy system – helping to create a robust business case for deployment at scale and to identify productive routes for technology development.
Energy Systems Catapult is drawing on:
- Local Area Energy Planning of Orkney using our EnergyPath® Networks tool
- National Energy Systems Modelling for UK and European analysis using Energy Systems Modelling Environment
- Systems Engineering team is looking at integration between the tidal turbine, electrolyser and local energy system to optimise for technical and economic performance
- Renewables & Marine Energy, Energy Storage and Hydrogen teams are contributing technical expertise
- Consumer Insights are supporting social studies with the local community.
Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage
For the UK to achieve Net Zero by 2050, greenhouse gas removal (GGR) or negative emissions technologies are essential to offset residual, or hard to abate, emissions in certain sectors of the UK economy.
Energy Systems Catapult was commissioned by the UK Government’s Department of Energy Security and Net Zero to carry out a first-of-its-kind assessment on the status of Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS) technologies and their potential role in achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050. We examined the current technological characteristics of DACCS, assessed energy and network needs, and brought these together in a modelling exercise to interpret their role in the energy transition.
To comply with our Net Zero ambitions, the assessment found that negative emissions from biomass and DACCS in the order of 75MtCO2 could be needed, dependent on decarbonisation progress in other sectors. Failing to deploy DACCS (or deploying DACCS too late) would put the UK’s 2050 Net Zero target at risk.
The report found that if DACCS plants were deployed to the maximum deployable capacity, they could act as an important source of negative emissions needed to counteract emissions from difficult to decarbonise sectors such as agriculture, aviation, and industry.
The report sets out nine recommendations in the areas of data collection, national strategy, and DAC integration.
How to work with us
We are not-for-profit, independent and technology-agnostic – building a trusted track record of delivering thought leadership, collaborative R&D and commercial commissions – so are uniquely placed to take on the challenges that others cannot tackle.
Collaborate with us: We work with partners from the public and private sectors to secure funding and collectively deliver the innovation projects and thought leadership that tackle the hardest challenges in the way to Net Zero.
Commission us: We offer independent support, evidence and insights – with technical, commercial and policy expertise – to identify and deliver Net Zero innovation priorities. Then actively support clients to develop actionable plans for implementation.
If you are interested in working with us, contact us by completing the form and one of the team will be in touch.Contact us
Want to know more?
Find out more about how Energy Systems Catapult can help you and your teams
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Want to know more?
Find out more about how Energy Systems Catapult can help you and your teams