A Glasgow-based energy software company has spent tens of millions of pounds on renewable energy projects, which might one day pump “green energy” directly into the grid.
Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) announced last week that they have spent £20 million on projects designed to tackle the climate crisis.
These include connecting more electric vehicle (EV) charging points to the network, and setting up smart micro-grids that can manage supply and demand across cities, rural areas or even individual industrial sites.
The firm is working with UK Power Networks to connect more distributed energy resources such as renewable energy devices and batteries to its grid, with Scottish & Southern Energy on an innovative “energy as a service” platform.
The next steps in SGS’s R&D work will include projects to integrate electric heating and alternative fuels such as green hydrogen into the grid.
Bob Currie, chief technology officer (CTO) and co-founder of SGS, said: “Reaching net zero to tackle the climate emergency isn’t simply about replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy – it’s also about becoming smarter in how we use that energy and control our electricity grids.
“Progress is already being made to decarbonise our power grids, but the real victories will come when our heat and transport networks are also electrified to remove or minimise carbon dioxide emissions.
“That means connecting cars, vans and other EVs to the grid so they can be recharged, and also heating and cooling our homes, businesses and factories using electricity instead of gas, oil or other polluting fuels.
“To achieve these goals, we need clever software that can manage the complex balance between supply and demand, and that’s where SGS’s existing programs and its next-generation R&D work comes into play.”
Dr Currie added: “Helping grid operators and governments at local, regional and national levels to hit their net zero targets involves connecting not just renewable energy devices to networks but also energy storage batteries, EV charging points and flexible technology to help users increase or decrease their use of power when they receive signals from the wider market.
“These innovations will help our societies to tackle climate change by lowering and eventually minimising or eliminating our carbon dioxide emissions and will also allow businesses and homes to reduce their energy bills and even perhaps be paid to feed power back into the grid during periods of peak demand.
“Decarbonising power grids has been at the heart of SGS’s business since the company was founded in 2008 and, during the past decade, we’ve seen an amazing shift in the energy landscape, with consumers and politicians alike now pushing towards net zero.”