Green City was a joint project between gas and electricity networks to explore how to invest efficiently across different energy networks to support decarbonisation while keeping costs down for customers.
Green City Vision analysed a UK representative city as a holistic energy system to understand how we can; keep costs low, invest strategically and facilitate decarbonistation.
Much of the research in trialing decabonisation for heat, light, power and transport to date has focused on technologies and solutions in isolation. The increasing interaction between the networks from gas peaking power plants, hybrid heating systems and power to gas, however, means that it is increasingly important to assess energy flows from both industries in a more holistic approach. This will allow networks to invest efficiently across gas and electricity networks to ensure security of supply can be maintained when demand is at its highest.
The project took a collaborative approach involving a range of stakeholders who provided input in the development of scenarios for Swindon, which was selected as a representative UK city. We used The Wales & West Utilities Pathfinder 2050 model – a simple, user-friendly, and flexible energy model which allowed assessment of energy demands across a specific area on an hourly basis. We used the data to assess various scenarios to measure effectiveness against decarbonisation, reliability of supply and cost.
This model, for the first time, focuses to design an energy solution (for a city or region) which minimises either costs or carbon emissions. It also uses the Future Energy Scenarios to provide look-ahead capability with regard to those factors outside the control of the energy industry, such as general economic growth and public policy decisions.
Green City Vision used the Future Energy Scenarios to provide look-ahead capability with regard to those factors outside the control of the energy industry, such as general economic growth and public policy decisions.This work has laid the groundwork for further analysis to understand the opportunities and synergies available within whole system decarbonisation strategy to achieve compliance via low-cost, achievable pathways.
The project has enhanced the understanding of the implications of various decarbonisation pathways for both electricity and gas networks.
Through the research, we can make well-informed, strategic decisions about where and how much to invest in gas and electricity networks. The study also also indicated that biomethane and hydrogen have the potential to play key roles in the decarbonisation of heat.