Newcastle University is the home to a new centre focused on the study of the UK’s energy system and development of a smart, electricity infrastructure in the future.[quote] According to a release, the £20m EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration will bring together energy experts from around the world to help unravel the energy network and understand future supply and demand.
The centre is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Siemens and Newcastle University.
Core activities will focus on understanding how the UK’s energy network can be optimised, help drive down customer bills and inform future government policy.
Research will also examine the energy system as a whole looking at fossil fuels, renewables, heating, cooling and energy efficiency.
The UK's Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson, said: “This £20 million Centre will help us with the next challenge of storing new sources of energy to meet future demand and secure the UK’s leading position in low carbon technologies.”
Toward a smart energy future
Newcastle University’s test facilities at Science Central – a demonstrator site, will be used to understand the “co-evolution” of supply and demand across the UK’s energy network. The demonstrator site houses a geothermal borehole, grid scale energy storage test bed and smart grid, and a combined heat and power system.
Centre lead Professor Phil Taylor, Siemens professor of Energy Systems and director of the Institute for Sustainability at Newcastle University, said: “Electricity generation is undergoing fundamental change. Many existing fossil fuel power stations will be decommissioned in the coming 15 years and new sources of generation are coming on stream.
“This new National Centre will provide us with robust information about energy usage in the real world, enabling us to develop methods to deal with the inherent risk and uncertainty so we can confidently inform government policy.
“It gives us an opportunity here in the UK to really drive forward the smart energy revolution and become international leaders in this space. We are delighted here in Newcastle to be leading such an exciting project.”
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons