UofG researchers support second phase of SP Energy Networks net-zero projects
Net-zero projects led by SP Energy Networks and supported by researchers from the University of Glasgow are progressing to the next phase of trials.
The projects were initially funded in March with £1.2m provided by network users and consumers under the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), an Ofgem programme managed in partnership with Innovate UK. A total of nine projects with novel approaches to heat, data and digitalisation were supported by the initiative.
Now, following an initial trial phase, a further £1.6million from the SIF will allow three of those projects to progress, two of which are supported by Glasgow researchers.
Heat Balance, led by Professor Gioia Falcone of the James Watt School of Engineering, will trial thermal storage and examine how it could be used to benefit the UK's electricity demand. Using advanced technology, such as inter-seasonal storage, the project will seek to identify methods that can be adapted for the UK's specific geology to ultimately reduce the overall cost of heating for customers.
The Predict4Resilience project, led by Dr Jethro Browell of the School of Mathematics and Statistics, will help SP Energy Networks manage increasingly extreme UK weather and its impact on the electricity network.
By using improved forecasting, it will develop a fault prediction tool based on anticipated weather conditions - enabling operational teams to predict issues before they happen and to respond quicker. This will not only strengthen the resilience of the network but will reduce the length of time customers are off supply when a fault has occurred.
Graham Campbell, SP Energy Networks’ Director of Processes and Technology, said: "We are delighted to have been given the green light to progress our Strategic Innovation Fund proposals further, which clearly shows confidence in the potential of those projects to help the UK meet its ambitious Net Zero targets.
"We're proud to be leading innovation across the industry, and to be driving initiatives forward on the decarbonisation of heat and transport in particular, which we know form a large part of the country's greenhouse gas emissions.
"Our focus continues to be on developing solutions that not only help us reduce emissions, but which also improve access to energy markets, help modernise our processes or services, and ultimately enable us to maintain a safe and reliable electricity network for our customers and communities, whilst keeping costs low."
Professor Chris Pearce, Vice Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Glasgow, said: “I’m glad to be continuing our partnership with SP Energy Networks on this second phase of these important projects, which apply fundamental research to help address some of the urgent challenges that we’re facing as a result of the climate emergency.
“Across the University of Glasgow, we’re committed to doing our part to tackle climate change, from a broad range of multidisciplinary research projects to setting our own ambitious target to reach net-zero by 2030. Partnering with organisations like SP Energy Networks is a key part of our climate strategy.”
First published: 4 August 2022