12 February 2010

ETI announces distributed energy studies

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), the organisation tasked with developing the technologies that will help the UK meet its 2050 carbon reduction targets, believes that distributed energy (DE) systems could make a valuable contribution to improving energy efficiency and delivering CO2 savings in the UK.

These latest studies follow the first stage in the ETI’s DE programme launched in October, when the ETI announced a project to identify the next generation of high efficiency technologies to generate low carbon energy from waste.

Dr David Clarke, Chief Executive of the ETI, said: “The ETI distributed energy projects aim to accelerate take-up of affordable low-carbon heat and power delivery at a local level. By supplying both heat and power to end users from a common fuel source, significant improvements in efficiency can be achieved compared to conventional, centralised power generation and separate, local heat generation. The Macro distributed energy project will explore the opportunities available from alternative fuel sources.”

The Macro DE project, costing £795,000, will study energy demand and supply profiles for sites, such as local services, hospitals and business parks, and equipment. It will also develop a software tool methodology to analyse local combinations of sites and technologies and enable the design of optimised DE delivery solutions for these areas. The focus is to accelerate development of Macro DE technology development by 2020 for the purposes of significant implementation by 2030. The project is expected to identify a number of larger scale technology development and demonstration projects for the ETI to consider developing.

The 12-month long project will be led by Caterpillar, with support from the University of Manchester and EDF.

John Amdall, Director, Technology & Solutions Division, Caterpillar Inc. said: "After a very competitive bidding process we have a programme that seeks to define both the preferred approach and most cost effective technologies. We see this as an essential first step in developing the right distributed energy solutions for 2020 and beyond."

The ETI’s Micro DE work is focused on the residential sector. The £1.1 million Micro DE project focuses on modelling the potential impact and operation of technologies in households. The penetration of household level distributed energy schemes in the UK has been limited to date. With smart metering being mandated for full rollout by 2020, the immediate initial testing of these distributed energy systems is especially important. However, the focus of the field trial doesn’t stop there. Another key element is to better understand specific Micro DE systems in-situ along with the customer’s behaviour and interactions, and produce a ‘technical roadmap’.

A small-scale field trial will be put in place to understand the core issues and opportunities in using smart meters and controllers to combine innovative building energy services management with the next generation of household generation and storage devices. This is the first step towards developing a larger-scale field trial encompassing the varying range of homes and user-groups in the UK. The project will include an assessment of the most up to date technologies currently available.

The final objective of the Micro DE project is to identify the most promising technological development and demonstration opportunities to accelerate the improvement of UK residential energy use and contribution to the CO2 emissions reduction.

The 12-month long project consortium will be led by PassivSystems, in conjunction with University College London, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and EDF.

Dr Mike Patterson, Business Development Director at PassivSystems, said “Regulations and energy supply considerations are driving ever more towards the zero or low carbon home. We need to move beyond theory and explore now how the home can become part of tomorrow’s smart grid.”
“This trial allows us to look at how distributed energy generation will impact on the UK’s energy mix at a household level. The insight gained will inform how new distributed energy equipment may be integrated into our homes. PassivSystems welcomes the opportunity to lead an incredibly talented consortium in this vital initiative.”
For further information, please call Richard Robinson on 01509 202026 or Nigel Richardson on 01509 202084.

Notes to Editors:

  • About the ETI: The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is a UK based company formed from global industries and the UK Government. The ETI brings together projects and partnerships that create affordable, reliable, clean energy for heat, power and transport.
  • The ETI’s six private members are BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell. The UK Government has committed to match support for four further Members.  The ETI’s public funds are received from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills through the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). These organisations, together with the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Transport (DfT), are engaged directly in the ETI’s strategy and programme development.
  • The ETI will demonstrate technologies, develop knowledge, skills and supply-chains, inform the development of regulation, standards and policy, and so accelerate the deployment of affordable, secure low-carbon energy systems from 2020 to 2050.
  • PassivSystems aims to be the leading provider of Home Energy Management Services. Its specialist consultancy team has substantial knowledge of distributed energy management, interoperability and remote metering systems and works with governmental organisations, industry think tanks, universities and businesses to explore the future of energy in businesses and in the home.


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