COP28: How data and digital twins can propel pledges towards a Fossil Fuel-Free Future

Grace Martin, Head of Marketing, Advanced Infrastructure

In a landmark turn of events last week, the world convened at the 28th Climate Summit (COP28) with resounding determination to tackle the climate crisis head-on. Almost 200 nations, including the UK, US and the EU, pledged a resolute phase-out of fossil fuels, a pivotal step toward fulfilling the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.

Scientists say such destructive storms, drought and heat would have been almost impossible without the warming caused by burning fossil fuels, which is why they must be phased out to avoid total climate breakdown.

While the commitment to decarbonise energy systems is commendable, data from The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero revealed that in 2022, over 40% of the UK's electricity still stemmed from fossil fuels. 

The cornerstone of phasing out fossil fuels lies in rapidly expanding renewable energy sources and the deployment of low carbon technologies by offering cleaner and more sustainable alternatives for energy production.

Understanding where and when to deploy low carbon technologies can be a challenge among local authorities, installers and energy providers without access to the right data and digital visualisation tools. 

At Advanced Infrastructure we are addressing a gap in the market for affordable energy planning solutions that combine data science, power flow modelling and geospatial intelligence. Advanced Infrastructure (AI) operates a dynamic nationwide building and energy network digital twin that provides the starting point for LAEP (Local Area Energy Plan) analysis.

Access to innovative net zero planning tools such as LAEP+ (Local Area Energy Planner Plus) and granular building level data is now available to identify and shortlist potential properties for retrofit and low carbon technology deployment such as Ground Source Heat Pumps and Rooftop Solar PV.

Where to deploy low carbon technologies?

By utilising granular building, heat and energy data at both regional and individual building level, planners can make informed decisions, allowing for precise targeting of low carbon technology deployment and ultimately supporting the phasing out of fossil fuels. 

Datasets such as Domestic Heat Demand which provides information on the amount of heat energy required for individual residential buildings enables the strategic planning to deploy low carbon technologies such as Air Source Heat Pumps in properties where they can have the most substantial impact.

The image below shows how a user in the LAEP+ platform can visualise the heat demand outputs of the digital twin in a given region. The colour scale represents properties ranging from the lowest annual heat demand (yellow) to the highest annual heat demand (red).

Once potential properties have been shortlisted for energy interventions, it is crucial to understand whether the properties are suitable for the installation of low carbon technologies such as Ground Source Heat Pumps.

Ground Source and Air Source Heat Pump potential datasets provide an insightful method of validating the suitability for the deployment of these technologies. 

The dataset takes into account the building size, garden size and distance to neighboring properties. As visualised in the LAEP+ platform as shown below, the colour scale represents the suitability of Ground Source Heat Pumps for each property. Green properties are suitable for Ground Source Heat Pumps and grey properties are unsuitable.

Beyond identifying suitable properties for the deployment of low carbon technologies, it is crucial to understand if there is enough capacity in a specific electricity supply area to meet demand.

As the UK electrifies heating and transport in a bid to phase out fossil fuels, there will be more and more demand placed on the electricity system and datasets such as demand headroom can provide valuable insights into available capacity or spare capacity in a specific electricity supply area to meet the electricity demand from consumers without straining the power grid.

By combining and analysing a variety of data across energy, heat and low carbon technology potential, this has the ability to rapidly increase the rate of low carbon technology deployment, supporting the phasing out of fossil fuels. 

In this pivotal moment, data has emerged as a powerful force with the ability to drive monumental change. Granular data, digital twins, and innovative technologies offer a roadmap that not only visualises the path to a fossil fuel-free future but actively steers us toward it.

Where can I access Energy, Heat and Low Carbon Technology Data?

At Advanced Infrastructure our innovative GIS tools, datasets and APIs are making it easier for private companies, local authorities, distribution network operators and consultants to plan local energy transitions and operate using low carbon power. We offer a range of datasets that can be combined with our cloud based net zero planning platform LAEP+ (Local Area Energy Planner Plus), or as stand alone datasets available as an API or exportable file format.

To learn more about our granular datasets or to request a demo of LAEP+, please get in touch using the contact form in this link.

Published on :
December 18, 2023
Grace Martin, Head of Marketing, Advanced Infrastructure

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Grace Martin
Grace Martin