Sustainability consultancy Ricardo-AEA has won a £1 million funding award from Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) to build and evaluate a ‘prototype data platform’ for cities – enabling them to model energy demand and savings opportunities from an individual building level right through to the city-wide scale.
To be known as the Energy Data Integration System (EDIS), the platform’s key innovation will be its ability to access and combine real data from local authorities and utility providers, modelling actual energy demand behaviour patterns across an entire city. This will revolutionise energy planning and investment for councils and utility providers.
Examples of how EDIS might be used include enabling utility companies, who are obliged to provide domestic energy efficiency improvements, to target energy efficiency offers to those properties in fuel poverty; and providing cities with real information on their energy needs to make accurate plans for the future.
Innovate UK is funding the development project for two years, during which time Ricardo-AEA will build a prototype and demonstrate EDIS’s commercial value. Ricardo-AEA will work in partnership with Coventry City Council, SmartKlub, PPA Energy, and Cambridge Architectural Research. The partnership will deliver a series of case studies based on the needs of Coventry to demonstrate the scope of EDIS.
While the prototype will transform energy planning and investment it has the potential to go much further. EDIS’s infrastructure will be scalable from the outset and Ricardo-AEA is confident that it could be used to host and model similar data sets such as air quality and transportation information.
David Vaughan, Programme Manager, at Ricardo-AEA said: “This is an extremely exciting project and a very important step towards improving the energy efficiency of today’s urban environment. EDIS will provide valuable information both for cities and energy suppliers, identifying where energy efficiency improvements need to be targeted and accurately determining when energy capacity needs to be on hand to meet demand. In the long-term, EDIS could develop into a vital service for any aspiring city. It has the potential to provide up-to-date analysis and interpretation of real data on energy use, transportation and air quality and could enable planners to make effective decisions based on the bespoke needs of their city”.
For more information on Ricardo-AEA’s services for cities please visit: www.ricardo-aea.com/cms/city.
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