Keele University hosts gathering of UK’s leaders in Smart Energy

Leaders from the international technology industry, Government and academia came together last week at Keele University to prepare the UK for a green industrial revolution.

Keele was chosen to host the meeting of the UK arm of the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) because it is leading the way in Europe with its Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND)* project.

The meeting provided technologists, industrialists and policy makers the chance to see first-hand the future of energy in action. The meeting included representatives from leading UK universities and industry giants such as Nokia, ENGIE and Siemens.

The SEND project is the UK’s first small-town-sized test-bed for a host of renewable energies, with a super-intelligent computerised nerve-centre at its heart. This will gather data from across the campus, balancing and matching energy production and use, maximising efficiency and slashing carbon emissions.

As the UK prepares to host the UN Climate Change Conference next year, the energy industry is clearly focused on leading the way in the next industrial revolution - creating a world-leading low-carbon economy. That’s why the ISGAN’s meeting at Keele is so significant.

Organised by the influential national new technology growth initiative Energy Systems Catapult and the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, the ISGAN has been established to explore the UK’s role in the international smart grid development – a crucial element to enable the UK to meet its contribution to cutting the man-made carbon emissions which cause climate change.

The delegates saw how Keele, working in collaboration with international technology giant Siemens, is generating a blueprint for the future through the £15million SEND project.

Keele’s Professor of Practise on Smart Energy, David Healey, said the meeting was a significant step forward: “Here at Keele we are plugged directly into setting the co-ordinates for a more sustainable world. We have been asked by Government to lead two of the eight work streams which will be driving the transformation - Smart Grid Policy and Transformation. It’s a major challenge, but one we welcome.”

Colin Henry, Siemens Head of Business, Digital Grid, said: “We are very proud to be creating Europe’s largest single Smart Energy Network Demonstrator with Keele University. With complete visualisation over the energy network, the demonstrator at Keele will be vital to developing future low carbon technologies, supporting the UK in its aims to be a leader in decarbonising its energy infrastructure.”

For more information on the ISGAN, please visit www.iea.org/tcp/isgan.

Keele University is committed to embedding sustainability into every aspect of its operations and teaching. It is one of the first universities in the UK to disinvest from fossil fuels and to declare a climate emergency.

Keele’s Institute for Sustainable Futures is driving research excellence across the curriculum.

The University has recently gained planning permission for a wind and solar and energy storage development which will deliver, across the year, about 50% of the University’s total energy needs, and is also hosting the UK’s first domestic hydrogen heating project - HyDeploy.

ERDF and UK Government logos *The SEND project (ref. 32R16P00706) is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme, and is available to ERDF eligible companies. The project is also receiving funds from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).