Experience - Decision Support - Energy and Utilities

Modelling Long term City Energy Systems for Exeter and Birmingham

We co-ordinated the bid for both  the Pilot (CEDS City Energy Demand Simulation)  and the main project build (SiCEDS - The Stakehoder Interactive City Energy Demand Simulation) for an Innovate UK funded project. The model we built not only calculated energy demand for the whole city it allowed a spatial drill down to post code groupings which allowed examination of how energy demand changed over time under different scenarios.

The model also looked at the impacts on CO2 emissions, Energy costs and investments, air quality, and health impacts of alternative energy policies. 

This was a major project which ran for more than one year and embraced a host of parties inuding the Energy Saving Trust, UCL, Business Laboratory, AECOM, Frazer-Nash Consultancy and the city planners in Birmingham and Exeter.

During the pilot phase we ran a Value Mapping intervention to find out from 5 cities how energy architecture planning added value to a city. This Value Map was instrumental in providing us with the insight that the tool needed to be open, accessible, and collaborative in nature. We then took this insight into the design of the main model and tendered competitively for the main research funding. Our bid strictly followed the priniciples of Pyramid Thinking and we won the funding.


Modelling short, medium and long term demand at electricity sub station level on the LV network

We coordinated a year long piece of work as part of Project Falcon, a Low Carbon Network funded research programme of Western Power Distribution. We managed the delivery consortium made up of the Energy Saving Trus, UCL, and the Business Laboratory to deliver an electricity demand model out to 2050 which could be run at any of the project Falcon sub-stations in the west midlands.

This project was procured competitively and we used the Pyramid Thinking Approach to structure our bid and make it truly compelling. The proof of the pudding is that we won the bid to enable us to then work on what became a fascinating and educational energy demand research project.


Modelling medium term energy demand for the UK. 

We ran a consortium made up of the Energy Saving Trust, University College London, and The Business Laboratory to work with the National Grid control room forecasting team to look at the impacts of the introduction of new energy technologies into homes and businesses on the scale and shape of half hourly electricity demand at national, DNO, and Grid supply point level. 

The project was funded through National Grid's Network Innovation Allowance for which a compelling business case had to be made to secure the project. We used the Pyramid Thinking Plus approach to construct the logic of the consortium's argument to secure the both the initial funding, for stage 1 which looked at residential demand only in detail, and for stage 2 funding which then looked at both residential and commericlal industrial demand in total. 


Facilitating the development of a common Vision for the future of Industry trade representation

For the UK Electricity Association we conducted a review of the way in which Trade Associations in the UK Energy Utilities arena could best develop to optimally serve the interests of their members. We used cognitive modelling techniques to create a “Value Map” which acted as a consistent backcloth to the dialogue between a multiplicity of diverse parties – enabling them to reach a common Vision as to the best way forward. This work was undertaken by enstra supported by enstra network partner RBC.

Strategic Direction - EU Oil Industry & EU Institution interactions

For EUROPIA, the Trade representation body of the European Oil industry we deployed our "Value Mapping" approach to create a shared understanding for how the oil industry could best interact with EU institutions such as the Commission and the European Parliament. This was achieved through creating a shared assumption set using a "Value Map" depicting the issues arising when managing the dialogue with the institutions and other stakeholders in this arena, which itself was drawn out of one-to-one discussions with the senior executives debating the strategic direction to be followed.

Creating a mental map of how knowledge management can deliver beneficial change

For an international gas exploration and production company used "Value Mapping" and structured interviews to develop a model of how knowledge management contributed to exploration success, and how it could best be leveraged cross functionally to create value for the Group as a whole.

Building a common Vision for business development for a niche player in the industry

For a company providing data management services to the UK electricity industry lead a team conducting a fundamental review of the future strategy of the organisation. This work was commissioned by the management team of the company and sponsored by the Board comprising representative of key Regional Electricity companies. This review comprises competency mapping, Vision and Option development and partner search completed within the "5 Box Approach to Strategic Management Framework". This work is being carried out in co-ordination with the advertising agency responsible for creating a Brand Strategy in a parallel process. This then led onto two projects, one being a competency review of the management team, for which we worked with an HR expert, and a review of the potential for business development in the Financial Services sector which was driven by an expert in Financial Services.

Deploying scenario planning to identify management priorities

For a major Danish Gas distributor co-led a workshop on understanding the impacts of retail market liberalisation on a Gas transportation business.

For a major UK financial institution provided risk assessment support regarding a proposed investment in metering assets following the liberalisation of the UK meter operations market. Deployed scenario planning techniques to successfully evaluate the breadth of risk and enable the client to improve its negotiation position with counter-parties.

For a Netherlands Utility assisted in the development of a gas purchasing strategy in the light of scenarios depicting the consequences of retail market liberalisation in the Netherlands.

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The Internet of Energy

Read the recent article by Ian Campbell of Enstra on the coming of age of the Internet of Energy based on his insights from being chair of the Smarter Homes and Buildings group at the EUA.  You can read the article by clicking here.

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