Waste not, want not: E.ON joins shared energy grid project powering homes, businesses and electric vehicles
Being smarter and more sustainable with how we generate and how we consume heat and power in the heart of our cities is a key challenge for the UK to hit its 2050 net-zero targets. That will only be achieved through greater collaboration, and GreenSCIES is putting this into practice – bringing together a complex ecosystem of partners, from academia and the public sector through to large corporates and SMEs.
E.ON has been appointed as a commercial and technical advisor to a revolutionary low carbon smart energy grid planned for locations in central London and the West Midlands which will harness waste heat from office buildings, data centres and the public transport network and share it locally as a lower impact and lower cost transport, power and heat source.
GreenSCIES (Green Smart Community Integrated Energy System), a consortium of 16 partners, including E.ON, was launched by lead project partners London South Bank University (LSBU), Transport for London and Islington Council.
Concealed underground, the new smart energy grid will provide an answer to the challenges of powering inner cities of the future and combating the climate crisis, revolutionising the way we live and transforming lives, homes and businesses into sustainable energy districts.
E.ON is the energy consultancy for GreenSCIES, providing advisory and technical oversight for the design of the smart integrated energy system based on its experience of delivering similar schemes in Sweden and Germany as well as identifying potential customer connections and exploring commercial and engagement activities.
Michael Lewis, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, said: “E.ON already has a number of community-scale smart energy grids where we reuse wasted heat and share heating and cooling between buildings. Our projects in Sweden and Germany are already seeing 70% reductions in the carbon emissions from heating, cooling and power.
“Being smarter and more sustainable with how we generate and how we consume heat and power in the heart of our cities is a key challenge for the UK to hit its 2050 net-zero targets. That will only be achieved through greater collaboration, and GreenSCIES is putting this into practice – bringing together a complex ecosystem of partners, from academia and the public sector through to large corporates and SMEs.”
When constructed, GreenSCIES systems will deliver low carbon heat, mobility and power to an estimated 33,000 residents and nearly 70 local businesses in Islington. The new smart energy grid will help to reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 80% against conventional systems and deliver air quality improvements by reducing pollutants. Project partners have also committed to improving local skills training and job prospects, helping to invigorate local economies.
The smart energy network will generate power from renewable energy sources while connecting to the national grid and to electric vehicle charging points. It will use artificial intelligence controls to connect flexible electricity demands from heat pumps and electric vehicles to intermittent renewable sources, including solar power - delivering clean, locally produced energy while reducing pollution and supporting a transition to low carbon transport.
The ground-breaking engineering science behind GreenSCIES has been developed by a collection of 16 business partners from the public and private sector, including E.ON and a number of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It is funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK.
Graeme Maidment, Professor of Heating and Cooling in the School of Engineering at London South Bank University (LSBU) and Director of GreenSCIES, said: “GreenSCIES provides a brilliant opportunity to deliver low carbon energy in urban areas. This fantastic consortium will develop new systems and business models to provide fairer access to low cost and low carbon energy supply for local residents in inner cities – many of whom are fuel poor. We will also investigate policy models and strategies to optimise their adoption at local, national and international levels.”
Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “We are proud to be part of the GreenSCIES consortium, developing new and innovative ways to tackle a host of issues we face, not only here in Islington, but in cities and urban areas across the world. Harnessing waste heat from data centres and other urban sources is an inspired approach to not only help reduce fuel poverty for thousands of people, but also increase the share of journeys taken using zero-carbon transport, while helping Islington achieve its target of being a net zero-carbon borough by 2030.”
David Richardson, Innovation Lead for Energy Systems at UKRI, said: “The GreenSCIES team have developed an innovative approach to the design of heat networks. They have formed a broad and diverse team which is working effectively towards solving a complex challenge – which is a difficult thing to do. I’m confident that this project will provide a leap towards Islington’s net-zero ambitions. Hopefully it will also prove that the design can be successfully replicated across the UK. GreenSCIES is definitely one to watch.”
In future, GreenSCIES plans to establish a new Centre of Excellence that will work with industry to carry out in-depth research and disseminate results globally. The Centre will ensure that the benefits of GreenSCIES systems are achieved in the widest possible range of locations, where a mix of energy supplies and demand patterns vary significantly, and over time. The consortium plans to research how GreenSCIES could be replicated both in the UK and elsewhere, by looking at the introduction of new business models and policy interventions.
Read more about the project here: www.greenscies.com
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