Carbon Trust: Scotland could be leader in smart integrated energy systems

Smart Integrated Energy System

Vision, innovation and investment into a new, better integrated energy system will help Scotland meet carbon targets, create jobs and secure an international leadership position, says new report from the Carbon Trust.

The report outlines a vision for Scotland to harness its abundant natural resources and world class technology innovation capabilities to develop a dynamic, smart, energy efficient energy system.

It lays out a new approach to energy infrastructure and presents a range of recommendations including the need for planning to consider the opportunity for local power, heat and transport demand and generation solutions, and new policy and market mechanisms to properly reward the benefits and efficiencies of decentralised and smart solutions compared to today’s energy system.

Key to unlocking Scotland’s integrated energy future is targeted innovation and in particular the Carbon Trust recommends:

  • Further targeted innovation to drive down cost and develop the supply chain to realise Scotland’s renewable potential in offshore wind, wave, tidal and bio-energy,
  • Innovation in energy storage, which is critical to facilitating further investment in wind and will be a key enabler in local decentralised energy systems,
  • Further innovation in technology, business models and installation techniques to facilitate the uptake of district heating, with a focus on integrating renewable energy and thermal storage,
  • Innovation in energy management software solutions for buildings, home and the transport sector, which will be critical to a dynamic, smart and efficient energy system,
  • More innovative solutions to engage end consumers to make their energy usage and costs more tangible. The opportunity to innovate on the back of smart meter roll-out is critical.

Andrew Lever, Director of Innovation at the Carbon Trust, said: “To realise this vision Scotland needs a new integrated smart energy system. This is good news for Scotland. We believe it has the skills and capacity required to address many of the innovation challenges that exist and the political will to unleash the nation’s potential to deliver Scotland’s future integrated low carbon energy system.”

According to Carbon Trust, investment in innovation to develop, test and demonstrate the new technology solutions to support their commercialisation and full-scale roll-out will also be critical.

Images: The Carbon Trust/report