Prospering from the energy revolution challenge

Cowley hybrid battery. Credit: Pivot Power, Energy Superhub Oxford

Cowley hybrid battery. Credit: Pivot Power, Energy Superhub Oxford

This challenge is investing up to £102.5 million in industry and research to accelerate innovation in smart local energy systems. This is matched by the project participants, creating a total investment of over £200 million.

Intelligent local energy systems can provide cleaner, cheaper and more efficient energy. But setting them up can be complex, integrating heat, power and transport services, and requiring innovation in areas from energy storage to data management.

The challenge will fund business and researchers to work together with local organisations. Together they will show how innovative smart local energy system approaches can provide clean and more affordable energy while attracting investment and creating high-value jobs across the UK.

Read Innovate UK blogs about the energy revolution challenge.

Sign up for the Six in Sixty webinar series

Register to take part in KTN’s Six in Sixty series of one-hour webinars. They focus on smart local energy systems, technology and infrastructure.

This is your chance to hear from the various parts of the challenge programme. It includes demonstrators, designs, key technology and data projects alongside the EnergyRev academic programme and the Energy Revolution Integration Service, delivered via the Energy Systems Catapult.

Funded and announced projects

These are some of the investments so far.

Demonstrator projects

Three large-scale demonstrator projects are now underway, and will be completed by 2023. They will show how integrated intelligent local systems can deliver power, heat and mobility to users in new and better ways.

The projects include:

  • Energy Superhub Oxford: a transmission-connected network of rapid electric vehicle
    charging, hybrid battery energy storage, low carbon heating and smart energy
    management technologies that reduces stress on local grids. See our video about the project (YouTube).
  • ReFLEX Orkney: a first-of-its-kind integrated virtual energy system linking local
    electricity, transport and heat networks into one system
  • Project Leo (Local Energy Oxfordshire): a local energy marketplace that actively
    balances generation with demand for power, heat and transport, enabled by an intelligent local grid.
ReFLEX Orkney partners and funders. Credit: ReFLEX Orkney

ReFLEX Orkney partners and funders. Credit: ReFLEX Orkney

Detailed designs

These projects are developing designs for local energy systems that focus on areas the size of towns, cities and regions. The designs cover a wide range of energy systems: urban and rural, domestic and industrial, commercial and mixed energy systems. They will be ready to roll out across the UK in the 2020s.

Modernising energy data

Creating innovative energy systems depends on opening up access to data on networks and assets. Investments include:

Key technologies for local energy systems

We are funding 17 projects to research and develop key technology components that could make smart local energy systems more efficient and effective.

Creating new knowledge, tools and insights

This programme includes two investments:

  • EnergyREV is an ambitious international academic programme involving more than 60 researchers from 22 universities, aimed at accelerating the uptake, value and impact of smart local energy systems.
  • The Energy Revolution Integration Service (ERIS) is part of Energy Systems Catapult, an independent organisation focused on removing barriers and opening new markets for energy systems. ERIS promotes the social and economic benefits of smart local energy systems, sharing knowledge, opportunities and networking with key stakeholders.

See the full range of projects

This document, smart local energy systems: the energy revolution takes shape, presents the inspiring projects now in progress all around the UK under this challenge.

Driven by forward-thinking companies, researchers and communities, together they are showing how smart local energy systems can be part of a better net zero future.

Last updated: 27 June 2022

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