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University to explore future smart grid scenarios for flexible energy systems

17 October 2011

University of Westminster is leading a new £500k project in collaboration with four other universities. The funding from the UK Energy Research Centre is to research the development of smart grids and explore the future of UK energy provision

The University of Westminster has been awarded a grant of £507K from the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) to support research into smart grids. The aim of smart grids is to improve the flexibility of today’s electricity networks to manage increasing demand from consumers and industry, to enable increasing amounts of renewable generation to be connected, and to improve the monitoring and operation of the equipment that makes up the networks. Spin-offs for consumers may include more accurate metering and billing.  By making the UK’s energy networks fit for the 21st century, smart grids can help make UK business and industry more competitive internationally.

Smart grids will be able to intelligently respond to the behaviour and actions of all electrical power users. The grids offer clear potential to contribute to the UK’s policy goals of a transition to a low-carbon economy by transforming the way the UK produces, delivers and consumes energy as well as keeping the UK at the forefront of research into energy networks and services.

Dr. Nazmiye Ozkan, Senior Research Fellow, University of Westminster, Policy Studies institute says: “The framework, in line with UKERC’s aims, will provide key strategic insights which will help steer the development and implementation of smart grids and understand and manage the relevant risks and barriers. In particular, we will seek to uncover critical decision points (whether from a regulatory or a policy perspective) and spatial differences in the functionality and capabilities of smart grids. This project will bring new knowledge regarding possible UK energy system transitions, which will help to provide a more complete and accurate understanding of the implications for people and society, and provide valuable support for government decisions on UK policy.”

Professor Jim Skea OBE, research director of the UKERC says: “Smart grids promise to transform the way that all users of electricity systems – produces and consumers – interact with each other. However, there is no shared vision as to where the smart grid concept might take us. This project will make an important contribution in terms of exploring the possibilities”

Researchers at Brunel University, Cardiff University, University of Exeter, and the University of Nottingham are all contributing to this leading-edge project. This two-year project is bringing together some of the UK’s leading researchers in energy policy, behavioural psychology, energy networks engineering, and energy regulation and economics.

Website: http://www.smartgridscenarios.org.uk/

For further information:

Sarah Evans-Toyne, Melanie Bradley or Lianne Robinson
Broadgate Mainland
Email: westminster@broadgatemainland.com
Telephone
: +44(0) 20 7726 6111


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.


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