Pioneering energy projects get the green light

Posted on: 03/04/2020

Thousands of people could see their energy bills cut and their homes powered by local, renewable energy thanks to new government funding

A competition run as part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge has seen £21m awarded to ten ground-breaking smart energy projects across UK.

The projects, which include generating geothermal energy from canals and old coal mine-shafts and a heat network warming homes from the London underground, will trial new technology which could become a blueprint for greener localised energy generation, helping to contribute to the UK government’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The winners hope to create a pipeline of highly innovative, ambitious and investable local energy system designs that will be ready to roll out across the UK in the 2020s.

KTN supported the running original competition and our Knowledge Transfer Manager for Thermal Energy Systems, Jenni McDonnell, has given expert advice to several of the winners including Zero Carbon Rugeley, Energy Kingdom and Liverpool’s Multi-vector Energy Exchange. The competition winners include:

  • Zero Carbon Rugeley – will deliver a detailed design of a smart local energy system for Rugeley Town and its local area, including the 2,300 houses being built in the former ENGIE Rugeley Power Station.
  • Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure (PIRI) – will integrate low-carbon energy provisions and support sustainable growth. By integrating electrification, mobility and heat provision, the design will maximise low-carbon energy exploitation, accelerate low-carbon technology adoption and enhance the overarching energy system – providing a project that can be fully replicated in other areas.
  • REWIRE-NW¬ – proposes new market arrangements that pave the way for change. By using 5G and data-centric intelligence, the project will drive the local energy systems towards lower costs and lower carbon outcomes.
  • Project REMeDY – based in Southend, will develop their Horizontally Integrated Vertical Energy Systems (HIVES) approach to produce a local energy system design covering the whole of the large town of Southend that is replicable across the UK.
  • Milford Haven Energy Kingdom – centred in Milford Haven, will focus on developing diverse, local seed markets to support the transition to hydrogen and renewables from fossil fuels. The funding will also allow their design to be developed to meet the heating and transportation needs of local communities, including local tourism to the area.

UKRI has also announced the winners of the Key Technology Components for Local Energy Systems competition, which share a further £4.5m of funding with the aim to develop technology components that help improve the efficiency of local energy systems. These winners include technology that enables the charging of electric taxis and private electric vehicles at railway stations from the rail traction power supply.

For a full list of the winners for both projects, visit the UKRI website here.

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Related programme

Enabling smart local energy systems

Enabling smart local energy systems

We live, work and travel in regions, cites, towns and communities, but energy systems are still very centralised. UKRI’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme explored the potential of smart local energy systems and place-based approaches. Discover learnings and insights from the £104m, five-year programme.


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