Consortium to explore how a flexible energy system can deliver net zero

The Carbon Trust and Imperial College will lead a new cross sector consortium project investigating the role a flexible energy system can play in achieving a net zero economy.

Launched on 12 May, the Flexibility in Great Britain project will explore the potential for an integrated and flexible energy system to reduce the cost of reaching the UK’s 2050 net zero target. It will involve in-depth analysis, based on modelling, research and stakeholder interviews, to investigate how different sources of flexibility across the heat, transport and power sectors can cut the overall system cost to consumers. The project will also look into the business models required to deliver an integrated flexible system.

The project builds on earlier Carbon Trust research, which found the cost of a future energy system could be cut by £40bn by greater flexibility and implementing storage.

The findings are set to be published in early 2021 and will inform energy system stakeholders and policy makers’ work on net zero commitments, heat decarbonisation pathways and the rapid transition to low emission transport options. The consortium will engage with BEIS, Ofgem, the Committee on Climate Change, the National Infrastructure Commission and National Grid ESO throughout the project.

Andrew Lever, Director at the Carbon Trust, said: “Significant action and investment are required to transition our energy system to help achieve net zero emissions for the UK economy by 2050. As the focus moves towards the decarbonisation of heat and transport sectors, it is essential that new sources of flexibility are explored to ensure the shift to net zero is achieved at lowest cost.” 

The Carbon Trust