The project's conclusions, expected for early next year, will draw from modelling, research and industry interviews and help inform net zero road maps of policymakers and energy players.
A major cross-sector research initiative launched by the Carbon Trust is to investigate the ways a flexible energy system could advance the UK's transition towards net zero emissions.
The project will use modelling, research, and stakeholder interviews to identify how different sources of flexibility services across the heat, power, and transportation sectors could reduce overall system costs for consumers. The Carbon Trust will lead the consortium, which includes distribution network operators, energy companies, professional institutions, and city governments, while Imperial College London will manage the project's modelling work.
Conclusions expected for early 2021 aim to help policymakers and energy stakeholders carve out effective net zero road maps, the Carbon Trust said.
"Significant action and investment are required to transition our energy system to help achieve net zero emissions for the UK economy by 2050," said Andrew Lever, director at Carbon Trust. "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 policymakers can use to plan and invest confidently and efficiently."
Previous Carbon Trust and Imperial College research concluded that a better-connected, more flexible energy system could save British energy consumers as much as £40bn by mid-century.
Lever added that the group was "delighted" to be collaborating with organisations across the energy sector and beyond for the project. The consortium includes Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, EDF Energy, Bryt Energy, the Greater London Authority, UK Power Networks, and the Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers.
Throughout the project, the consortium will engage with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Ofgem, the Committee on Climate Change, the National Infrastructure Commission, and National Grid.
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