Planning to meet the resilience requirements of a mid-Century, net-zero UK energy system: direct and indirect role of the UK and Irish buildings secto

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Bartlett Sch of Env, Energy & Resources


Flexibility and resilience are critical to energy system operation. By 2050, the bulk of energy system flexibility and resilience in the UK and Ireland will come from a mix of large scale energy storage, excess generation capacity and interconnectors. This project explores possible implications of this for the buildings sector.

Recently published research shows that the UK will need to commission 10s of TWhs of energy storage capacity by the middle of the century to provide resilience and continuity of energy supply. While a small part of this can be provided by demand side changes such as shifting of EV and heat pump use, the bulk of contributions to energy system flexibility and resilience will need to come from large scale energy storage. This in turn is expected to come from natural gas and hydrogen production, district energy systems, excess wind and PV capacity and interconnectors to Ireland and continental Europe.

A key and increasingly important function of storage is to buffer the energy supply system from variations in demand, and vice versa. Where in the system the storage should be placed, and what forms it should take are currently unresolved questions. There is the potential to deploy new storage assets in ways that allow partial compartmentation of an otherwise increasingly complex and tightly coupled energy system. This will have significant implications for operability, and for the emerging architecture of UK and European energy systems over coming decades.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S021671/1 30/09/2019 30/03/2028
2714259 Studentship EP/S021671/1 25/09/2022 24/09/2026 Adam Duncan