Decarbonising and reducing energy costs in the city of Coventry

Coventry and Warwickshire Energy Innovation Zone
Coventry and Warwickshire Energy Innovation Zone

UKRI funding has been announced for a Regional Energy System Operator project (RESO) that will help decarbonise the city of Coventry. The project aim is to design an energy system for Coventry that will enable the city’s social, economic, and environmental aspirations to be realised over the next 30 years at a cost acceptable to the people of the city.

The project is supported by Dr Grant Wilson and Dr Joe Day of the Energy Data Analytics Group in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham. Dr Wilson and Dr Day will provide analysis of multi-vector data sets useful for the project. The researchers will create a local Sankey diagram to better understand local energy flows through electrical, natural gas and liquid fuel networks is an initial project input. A wider aim is to make this methodology available so that other local authorities can undertake a similar exercise.

By creating a local energy market, Coventry residents will be able to benefit from reduced energy prices, increased jobs and investment, and clean growth.

The learning from the RESO project could help reduce the need for expensive infrastructure upgrades within the area, and potentially be replicated across other cities and towns. Plans are being drawn up to design similar systems for east Birmingham and north Solihull, home to nearly 300,000 people.

The project will deliver the following three main outputs:

  1. A detailed smart local energy infrastructure design for the city of Coventry, specifying an energy infrastructure vision for the city suitable to meet future energy demands for power, heat and transport up to 2050.
  2. An operating model for this design (i.e. a real-time city energy asset optimisation and management framework)
  3. A business model which specifies the stable regional institutional and organisational framework necessary to secure and support the long-term investments required.

The RESO project is one of ten projects receiving a collective total of £21 million in grant funding to develop radical new approaches to how the energy systems of our towns, cities and regions are configured. View the UKRI announcement to find out more.