Space, time and infrastructure

Home > Covid-19 energy use > Space, time and infrastructure

May 2022 to December 2023

Project team

James Dixon

We are advancing our modelling work in heating decarbonisation and transport decarbonisation to assess how we can reduce the cost of network infrastructure needed for net-zero, given future energy demand scenarios from the post-Covid recovery.

Space, time and infrastructure: post-Covid electricity demand and the potential for flexibility to deliver decarbonisation

This project will bring together the ordinarily siloed research areas of heat and transport in advancing spatial and temporal modelling of integrated decarbonisation pathways for the UK electricity system. Using previous work across CREDS, UKERC, ClimateXChange, EPSRC and Ofgem-funded research projects at University of Oxford and University of Strathclyde, the project will:

  • Establish a set of UK energy network archetypal case studies, considering variations in demographics, energy supply infrastructure and building physics
  • Combine existing heat and transport models into a single coherent framework, including spatially-aware modelling of technology uptake (e.g. heat pumps and electric cars) and temporally-aware modelling of resultant electricity demand from the adoption of these technologies
  • Investigate the potential role of electricity demand flexibility in contributing to UK energy system decarbonisation, given credible trajectories for the evolution of future energy demand post-Covid.

What we are asking

  • How can we adapt existing heating and transport models to produce a coherent framework of spatial and temporal modelling for UK heat and transport decarbonisation?
  • What impact will the future of post-Covid energy demand have on electricity demand patterns from the uptake of electric heating and transport technologies?
  • Given these electricity demand patterns, what is the potential for flexibility to i) contribute positively to UK energy system decarbonisation by shifting demand to times of plentiful renewable supply and ii) minimise cost of grid infrastructure?


Banner photo credit: Ajai Arif on Unsplash