You can also call us on +44 (0)20 7170 7000, or select 'Live Chat' to chat with one of our advisors.

We will use any personal information you provide in this form to deal with the request or application you make. However, we may also use it to contact you in the future. For more details please refer to our Privacy Notice.

Energy Systems

Leading transformational projects to facilitate a significant change in the way energy is produced, distributed and consumed.

Sustainable energy system diagram (Image adapted from IEA, 2012)

The UK energy system is undergoing a significant change in the way energy is produced, distributed and consumed owing to the UK’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 in accordance with the Climate Change Act, and the opening up of the energy provision market to a broader range of suppliers. The overall energy landscape in the UK (and globally) is a highly complex system that has technical, social, behavioural, economic and cultural elements within it. An effective transition of such a complex system requires us firstly to lend some clarity and structure to it, allowing us to appreciate and understand the current dynamics before we try to influence its transition. 

The Carbon Trust is at the forefront of this change and is leading a number of transformational projects to facilitate the move to this exciting, dynamic future.


The Energy Systems Innovation Platform (ESIP)

The Energy Systems Innovation Platform (ESIP) brings together prominent energy companies Centrica, DONG Energy, Equinor, SSE, Scottish Power and Wood Group – clean energy, to solve key issues currently preventing a more effective transition to a low cost and low carbon energy system.

Collectively, ESIP partners represent almost 50 percent of the electricity supply market in the UK and hold significant renewable energy and conventional generation portfolios. ESIP has also received initial support from the Scottish Government and the UK Science & Innovation Network.

This unique collaboration will enable partners to develop solutions to overcome barriers currently deterring investment in flexibility solutions such as energy storage. Solutions will be based on rigorous and transparent analysis and relate to issues such as regulation, lack of transparency in decision making and long-term business models necessary to encourage the right investments now to potentially save billions of pounds a year for consumers by 2030.

Each partner brings perspectives and experience from across the UK energy system and through ESIP will take an impartial and technology neutral perspective on opportunities for energy storage to provide increasingly needed flexibility services to the UK’s electricity system.

Energy Systems Innovation Platform partners

Currently, viable business models for storage assets are still limited, and in some cases, may even be causing unintended negative consequences to the system as a whole. Therefore ESIP will concentrate on developing business models for applications for which storage enables significant cost reductions for the UK’s electricity system. The initial focus of ESIP is to investigate use cases for energy storage which help to cost effectively integrate wind energy into the grid. This will ultimately allow the UK to meet its decarbonisation targets at lower cost than would otherwise be possible.

Other current Energy Systems Innovation projects

Whole energy system methodology

We are also developing a Whole Energy System Methodology for the Energy Systems Catapult to develop a whole energy system vision, taking a socio-technical approach to create a framework that will be used as a standard engagement and communication tool across the energy community.  This is a landmark project that seeks to develop momentum amongst the UK energy community by identifying high impact and actionable recommendations that can be taken forward through a collaborative effort.

Carbon Tracing

Carbon Trust is working with WPD to develop an app and website to show consumers the carbon intensity of electricity being supplied to their homes. This Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) project will address a perception that customers are increasingly interested in how their energy is made up.  Insights will help understand better how end consumers engage with their energy use and relevant metrics for engagement.

Energy System Market Insights

We plan to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the UK energy system and produce detailed ‘state of the market’ insights that will allow a stronger dialogue between industry and government. Energy System Market Insights will comprise an assessment of a broad set of quantitative and qualitative indicators, augmented by interviews with industry experts and advanced energy system modelling analysis. This initiative will help bring together the various developments happening in the context of the smart energy transition focussing particularly on development of flexibility within the energy system.

Whether you are a provider of flexibility looking to enter the UK market, a technology developer looking for a route to market, an energy solutions provider, a major energy user, an investor looking for deep insights into market development or an entirely new market participant, this comprehensive energy systems insight analysis will provide you the market intelligence on an on-going basis to help support decisions in this dynamic sector.

We are convening a consortium of partners to fund Energy System Market Insights. Partners will have the opportunity to steer the review and shape the analysis, and will benefit from early sight of outputs through a series of workshops and receive access to underlying data and brand exposure. For more information please contact us.


Future Energy Systems

Leading transformational projects to facilitate a significant change in the way energy is produced, distributed and consumed.

Read more on Future Energy Systems


Energy Storage

Energy Storage Report: Can storage help reduce the cost of a future UK electricity system?

Publication date: March 2016

This report outlines significant cost savings for the UK electricity system, should the potential for energy storage be realised. The impact of which could deliver savings of up to £50 a year on an average consumer energy bill through a system wide saving of up to £2.4bn a year by 2030.

The report was collaboratively funded by three major utilities, E.ON, SSE and Scottish Power, as well as the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Scottish Government. 

Energy storage report

Energy management

Capturing the Benefit of a Smart Flexible Energy System

Publication date: November 2016

To support the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Call for Evidence on a smart, flexible energy system in the UK, the Carbon Trust and Imperial College were commissioned to produce a report to assess the benefits of different flexibility solutions for a future UK electricity system. 

An analysis of electricity system flexibility for Great Britain (PDF)


Scotland's Innovation Potential

Scotland’s innovation potential to realise a new integrated energy system

Publication date: September 2015

The report outlines a vision for Scotland to harness its abundant natural resources and world class technology innovation capabilities to develop a dynamic, smart, energy efficient energy system. 

Scotland’s innovation potential

Get in touch

Contact us to find out more about the Energy Systems Innovation Platform and our services


Contact us

Back to top