Energy Networks play a central role in delivering the secure energy needed for a productive economy by integrating increasingly diverse energy sources to disparate loads. Design and operation are increasingly complex as uncertainty and volatility rise, as we use more renewable sources and less of the readily controlled fossil fuel, and as we turn to millions of active customers as our new source of control flexibility. New data-led approaches are needed to understand the future system and new technologies are required to increase flexibility and responsiveness so that we can achieve a secure and reliable very-low-carbon system at a reasonable cost, and in an acceptable time-frame.
HubNet is an umbrella organization for energy networks research funded by the Research Councils' UK Energy Programme. Energy networks includes electricity, gas and heat networks and covers planning, operation, control and infrastructure technologies. HubNet is one of seven Hubs in the Supergen initiative which includes Hubs for energy storage, hydrogen and generation technologies in wind, marine, solar and bio-energy.
Our major activity is to identify key research challenges for energy networks, which we do through running workshops and writing position papers, and then to seek funding to run programmes in those topics. Our current round of funding runs from June 2016 to September 2018 (under grant number EP/N030028/1) and is approximately £2M. We have allocated £1.5M of that in a competitive process to eight projects in the general areas of:
HubNet is led by Prof Tim Green (Imperial College London), Prof Stephen McArthur (University of Strathclyde) and Prof Simon Rowland (University of Strathclyde). The project funding was won by bids from:
The outputs of HubNet's previous round of funding (2011-2016) are described in our 2015 annual report can be found here.