Low Carbon London
Institute’s role: Project partner
Background: The project's aim was to use London as a test bed to develop a smarter electricity network that could manage the demands of a low carbon economy and deliver reliable, affordable zero carbon electricity to businesses, residents and communities. The project would inform how the UK delivers its target to rollout smart meters to more than 27 million homes by 2019.
Challenge: The business of distributing electricity is becoming far more complex. For example, UK electricity is increasingly being generated locally from renewable sources such as wind turbines and solar panels. While more sustainable, these weather-influenced sources are far less predictable. With the adoption of electric vehicles and new building technologies, electricity usage patterns are also evolving. Low Carbon London tested innovative technologies to help prepare and optimise the electricity distribution network to meet these challenges.
Activity: Low Carbon London deployed over 5,000 smart meters, giving customers more information and choice while assessing the impact on household energy use. The project also collected charging data from more than 700 electric vehicle charging points across London. In terms of grid infrastructure, new technology for managing the network was tested both in electricity distribution substations and in customer locations.
The Institute worked closely with project partners to enhance the innovation, value and positive impact of the programme, including: helping east London residents test innovative home energy management systems, improving their comfort and combatting fuel poverty; and working to improve access to electric vehicles and integrate the trials with other research projects, and disseminate learning more widely.
Partners: The 12 partners included CGI, Siemens, Imperial College, the Greater London Authority, and project lead UK Power Networks.
Funders: The project was funded by Ofgem's Low Carbon Networks Fund.