A plan to give homes and businesses more control over their energy use and support innovative technologies was set out by Climate Change and Industry Minister, Claire Perry, in a visit to the University of Nottingham.
The plan will deliver a smarter more flexible energy system by removing barriers to smart technology, reducing the costs for consumers.
The minister met with researchers at the University’s Creative Energy Homes project, which is at the forefront of the development of new smart systems technologies which will change the way the UK stores, manages and consumes energy. Creative Energy Homes is a £1.9m project of seven test houses on the University Park Campus, that serve as a living test-site for leading firms to work with the University to investigate the integration of energy efficient technologies into houses.
The Minister said, “As part of our Industrial Strategy, the Government has launched an ambitious and far-reaching plan to prepare our energy system in the future. I was fascinated by the groundbreaking research being carried out by the University of Nottingham, which incorporates small energy systems in local housing projects. The plan we published today will help make it even easier for these new technologies to be rolled out across the country.”
Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Research and Knowledge Exchange said, “Today’s developments come at an exciting time following the University’s recent announcement on an unprecedented planned investment of £200 million into six beacons of excellence - key research areas which aim to develop solutions for today's most significant global challenges.
“Green Chemicals for instance, aims to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels which in turn will give rise to new forms of energy, while Propulsion Futures will further the development of the next generation of high power density and low-loss electrical machines that will drive the electrification of transport. This will see the further development of strategic research priority areas covering Energy, Aerospace and Transport Technologies.
“It is an exciting prospect that we are revolutionising the way people can now be part of creating and managing their own energy system and contributing to the energy needs of the future. It is encouraging that the Government and Ofgem are committed to removing barriers to the introduction of smart energy technologies. The key is to get the regulatory framework right and not hold back progress.”
Professor Gavin Walker, Director of the Energy Technologies Research Institute added, “It is pleasing to hear the announcement of the plan, as there needs to be a change in the market to incentivise the uptake of energy storage technologies, for instance, with time of use tariffs and being able to sell services back to the grid.”
“With the Creative Energy Homes project, we are investigating smart technologies and energy storage within the micro grid that connects seven homes to better utilise renewable energy. We have shown that community storage can benefit homeowners in reducing fuel bills.
“The research being carried out Creative Energy Homes has enabled us to work with industrial collaborators and take these technologies into the real world. This includes Trent Basin, the pioneering community energy demonstrator being developed in collaboration with Blueprint, and working with architects, Lewis and Hickey, to ensure the design of the new Research Acceleration and Demonstration (RAD) building on Jubilee Campus achieves Passivhaus standard – the highest energy efficiency level of a building.”
Gordon Waddington, Chief Executive of the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), which is funding the Trent Basin Community Energy Demonstrator, said, “We warmly welcome the announcement from government to upgrade the UK’s energy system. One of the great issues of our time is to deliver, as the Secretary of State said, clean, cheap and secure energy for our future. The Community Energy Demonstrator which we are supporting at Trent Basin, Nottingham, is an excellent example of how smart technologies can be used to enable communities to significantly reduce their reliance on non-renewable energy sources, and lower their energy costs.”
It is expected that smart meters and appliances you can control from your mobile phone, along with other improvements to manage the energy system, will help the country save up to £40bn on energy costs over decades to come.
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Notes to editors:
The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.
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