Energy Systems Catapult unveils five-year delivery plan for UK energy transformation

A leading technology and innovation centre has today (9 May) unveiled its five-year delivery plan to help create a new systems approach to deliver an affordable and secure energy transformation in the UK during its official London launch.

The Energy Systems Catapult’s mission is to bind the industry, academia and Government sectors together to accelerate the development of new technology-based products and services in the energy sector, with an ultimate aim of wealth creation and positive social impact for the UK.

The not-for-profit organisation’s delivery plan examines the key drivers of radical change in the energy industry, including the emergence of new technologies, the challenges of decarbonisation and an ageing infrastructure to best understand how to force a nationwide energy revolution.

Energy Systems Catapult chief executive Philip New said: “The unveiling of our delivery plan is a key milestone in the development of the Catapult. Taking a whole systems approach is necessary if the substantial benefits of transforming the UK energy system and the many opportunities for UK businesses are to be captured. 

“But we are under no illusions – to deliver our plan successfully we will need to collaborate across the sector with Government, industry, academia and consumers, and help a stronger sense of consensus on the priorities for energy emerge. I’m pleased to say we have started doing that, and I look forward to the Catapult continuing to work with all our stakeholders in the coming weeks, months and years.”

Energy system approach

The specifics of the Energy Systems Catapult delivery plan are divided into three core activities. Firstly, the Catapult will undertake a whole system analysis of the energy system to improve decision-making and help achieve consensus on the chosen transformation pathway for the sector.

Moreover, the Catapult will aim to help innovators understand how to connect with the system in order to accelerate commercialisation by providing analysis of consumer insights and interventions to overcome market barriers.

Finally, the Catapult will establish a competency agenda to test and showcase commercial innovations for new technologies, products and services through a variety of methods such as virtual simulation and large-scale real world demonstration environments.

‘Radical action’

The launch of the Energy Systems Catapult comes during an uncertain period for the energy sector, with industry figures and politicians alike urgently calling for a major overhaul of government strategy.

Last week, the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC), which includes members such as former US Vice President Al Gore and Lord Nicholas Stern, insisted implementation of “radical action” was necessary to drive the transition to zero-carbon energy systems and to keep global temperature rise below 2°C.

A day later, the cross-party parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECC) called upon the Government to accept the recommendations of its independent advisory body in setting the fifth carbon budget, warning that “the UK can’t afford any further delays”.

George Ogleby


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