The Carbon Trust, along with Imperial College London and a cross-sector consortium have launched a new project looking at how a flexible energy system could help the UK reach net zero.
It will examine how an integrated and flexible energy system can reduce the cost of decarbonisation, using in-depth analysis based on modelling, research and stakeholder interviews.
The Flexibility in Great Britain project will look at how varied sources of flexibility across the heat, transport and power sectors can lead to an overall system cost reduction. Additionally it will look at the business models that would support the transition to net zero across these sectors.
It will build on previous research by the Carbon Trust from 2016, which found that the cost of transitioning to net zero could be cut by £40 billion if flexibility was optimised and energy storage included.
Andrew Lever, director at the Carbon Trust added that “significant action and investment” would be need to transition to net zero.
“As the focus moves towards the decarbonisation of heat and transport sectors, it is essential that new sources of flexibility are explored to ensure the shift to net zero is achieved at lowest cost.
“This update to our previous work aims to create a robust evidence base that energy system stakeholders and policy makers can use to plan and invest confidently and efficiently. We are delighted that it is being supported by such a large number of organisations across the energy sector and beyond.”
The consortium includes major players from the energy sector, including: Bryt Energy, EDF Energy, the Greater London Authority, the Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers, SBM Offshore, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, SP Energy Networks, Statera Energy, UK Power Networks and Western Power Distribution.
It will work alongside the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Ofgem, the Committee on Climate Change, the National Infrastructure Commission and National Grid.
The research is expected to be published in early 2021, with the consortium hoping it will help to inform energy system stakeholders and policy makers’ work on net zero commitments, including heat decarbonisation and the transition to low emission transport.