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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X025322/1
Title: ENSIGN: ENergy System dIGital twiN
Principal Investigator: Booth, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Yu, Professor Z Maroto-Valer, Professor M Bell, Professor KRW
Hong, Dr Q Stephen, Dr B Andresen, Professor J
Connor, Dr PA Irvine, Professor J Hawker, Dr GS
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
D'Arcy Thompson Simulator Centre National Grid Scottish Hydro Electric Plc
Scottish Power UK Power Networks
Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2023 Ends: 31 August 2027 Value (£): 4,340,128
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Sustainable Energy Networks
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Nov 2022 Prosperity Partnership Round 5 Full Proposal Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This Prosperity Partnership (PP) is a direct response to the growing local, national and international consensus that climate change should be treated as an emergency and that as a key part of this, the energy system must be transformed.

Fundamental change is needed if energy system transformation is to be achieved. The UK will only be successful if the many parties involved - government at all levels, regulators, innovators, industry, investors, consumers and citizens - are engaged, empowered and equipped to make properly informed decisions in a timely manner.

These decisions span the whole energy system: across the energy value chain - from generation to delivery to use; across the vectors and sectors - heat, transport, power, industry; and across technology, business models, markets, policy and regulation. Critically needed decisions must account for the complex interactions, interdependencies and trade-offs between these aspects of the whole energy system.

The complexity and uncertainty of the environment in which these decisions must be made require new approaches. Digital Twins are much talked about as playing a role. This PP will take "whole system thinking" to "whole system action"; it will move Digital Twins from possibility into reality where they are being used by a network operator to deliver transformation and realise good climate, economic and social outcomes across the stakeholder community.

The novelty of this work can be expressed in several ways:

The creation of a Digital Twin that spans and INTEGRATES multiple vectors - electricity, heat, hydrogen and industry - to enable system level insights to be gained, questions to be answered and decision making to be supported

The creation of an architecture that facilitates the integration of multiple energy vectors in a consistent and coherent way so that a whole system view is obtained, not separate views of separate "siloes".

The development of new techniques using sophisticated modelling, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in innovative ways; this will generate Intellectual Property that progresses use of Digital Twins closer to "Business As Usual".

Application of the principle of openness so that enhancement, extension and integration with other Digital Twins is made easier thereby strengthening the ability to transform, and to do so at greater pace and with lower risk.

An iterative development approach which enables adaptation to respond to learnings gained in the course of the PP and from advancements in the art and science of Digital Twins and from the process of transformation happening in the sector.

Specific goals and commitments are in front of us and with little time to deliver on them. We have committed to a Net Zero Power system in 2035 subject to security of supply. We have declared a British Energy Security Strategy which depends upon a multi-vector approach. How do we know a Net Zero Power System in 2035 is possible and that it will work? How can we have comfort that security of supply can be reasonably assured? How do we know what trade-offs between vectors will be needed to deliver the best possible outcomes? How can we align the efforts of all players in the sector to deliver what is needed?

An integrated Digital Twin - the key focus of this PP - will help do this. It will enable people to form a shared view of the future system and its operation. It will provide a way for stakeholders from different vectors to discuss and solve problems using a common reference point and language. It will help innovators see the context for their good ideas. It will help investors see opportunities and price risk. It will support people make decisions that are too complex for the human mind to make without the assistance of sophisticated capabilities to support them. This PP delivers that capability and importantly, does so in the context of the industry - connecting research, innovation and real-world applications.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.strath.ac.uk