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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P001173/1
Title: Centre for Energy Systems Integration
Principal Investigator: Walker, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Kiprakis, Professor A Powells, Dr GD Sorrell, Professor SR
Jamasb, Professor T Abram, Professor S Grothey, Dr A
McKinnon, Professor K Hogg, Professor SI Blythe, Professor PT
Peacock, Dr A MacKerron, Professor G van der Weijde, Dr A
Lyons, Dr P Jenkins, Professor DP Gluyas, Professor J
Djokic, Dr S Flynn, Professor D Dent, Professor C
Harrison, Professor GP Roskilly, Professor AP Goldstein, Professor M
Watson, Professor P Swingler, Dr J Taylor, Professor PC
Robu, Dr V Wilson, Dr K J Patsios, Dr C
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
ARCC Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems Cluff Geothermal Ltd
Denchi Power Ltd Dong Energy Durham County Council
Energy Networks Association Energy Systems Catapult Findhorn Foundation
Gentoo Group Knowledge Transfer Network Limited Nanyang Technological University
National Energy Action National Grid Newcastle City Council
North East Local Enterprise Partnership Northern Gas Networks Northern Powergrid
NREL (Nat Renewable Energy Laboratory) NTNU Nor Uni of Sci & Tech (Remove) REDT UK Ltd
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) Scottish Power Siemens
Skolkovo Inst of Sci and Tech (Skoltech) Technical University of Denmark TNEI Services Limited
Triphase NV UK Energy Research Centre University College Dublin
Your Homes Newcastle Limited
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: Newcastle University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2016 Ends: 31 July 2022 Value (£): 5,359,128
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency Sustainable Energy Networks
Sustainable Energy Vectors
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Mar 2016 Energy Systems Integration Interview Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Energy systems are vitally important to the future of UK industry and society. However, the energy trilemma presents many complex interconnected challenges. Current integrated energy systems modelling and simulation techniques suffer from a series of shortcomings that undermine their ability to develop and inform improved policy and planning decisions, therefore preventing the UK realising huge potential benefits. The current approach is characterised by high level static models which produce answers or predictions that are highly subject to a set of critical simplifying assumptions and therefore cannot be relied upon with a high degree of confidence. They are unable to provide sufficiently accurate or detailed, integrated representations of the physics, engineering, social, spatial temporal or stochastic aspects of real energy systems. They also struggle to generate robust long term plans in the face of uncertainties in commercial and technological developments and the effects of climate change, behavioural dynamics and technological interdependencies.

The aim of the Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI) is to address this weakness and reduce the risks associated with securing and delivering a fully integrated future energy system for the UK. This will be achieved through the development of a radically different, holistic modelling, simulation and optimisation methodology which makes use of existing high level tools from academic, industry and government networks and couples them with detailed models validated using full scale multi vector demonstration systems. CESI will carry out uncertainty quantification to identify the robust messages which the models are providing about the real world, and to identify where effort on improving models should be focused in order to maximise learning about the real world. This approach, and the associated models and data, will be made available to the energy community and will provide a rigorous underpinning for current integrated energy systems research, so that future energy system planning and policy formulation can be carried out with a greater degree of confidence than is currently possible.

CESI is a unique partnership of five research intensive universities and underpinning strategic partner Siemens (contribution value of £7.1m to the centre) The Universities of Newcastle, Durham, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Sussex have a combined RCUK energy portfolio worth over £100m. The centre will have a physical base as Newcastle University which will release space for the centre in the new £60m Urban Sciences Building. This building will contain world-class facilities from which to lead international research into digitally enabled urban sustainability and will also be physically connected to a full scale instrumented multi vector energy system. The building will feature an Urban Observatory, which will collect a diverse set of data from across the city, and a 3D Decision Theatre which will enable real-time data to be analysed, explored and the enable the testing of hypotheses.

The main aim of CESI's work is to develop a modular 'plug-n-play' environment in which components of the energy system can be co-simulated and optimised in detail. With no technology considered in isolation, considering sectors as an interlinked whole, the interactions and rebound effects across technologies and users can be examined.

The methodology proposed is a system architect concept underpinned by a twin track approach of detailed multi-vector, integrated simulation and optimisation at various scales incorporating uncertainty, coupled with large scale demonstration and experimental facilities in order to test, validate and evaluate solutions and scenarios. A System Architect takes a fully integrated, balanced, long term, transparent approach to energy system planning unfettered by silos and short term thinking.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk