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SSH Thermal Imaging Photo - ETI

Greater Manchester wins a place in £80m trial of smart heat and energy modelling

From energy master plans, to local smart heat exchanges or new, innovative technologies, if we’re going to make a dent in carbon emissions and the economic cost of neighbourhood heating in the longer term, then modelling the supply and demand for those energy needs is going to be critical.

After all, as the old adage goes ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it?’

Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority (GMCA) has announced that it’s joining a ‘Smart Systems and Heat’ programme run by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), which has three trail-blazing local authorities enrolled in pilot-testing new software to help develop local energy strategies and low-carbon transition plans.

The first phase of the programme will run into 2016 and will be dedicated to testing the software platform ‘in the field’. After this there will be a second phase that will see the deployment of technology and new infrastructure based on the recommendations delivered through the ‘EnergyPath’ model.
Alongside Newcastle City Council and Bridgend Council (working with the Welsh Government), Greater Manchester will be able to test the EnergyPath software in real life conditions. For the ETI, the three authorities provide a good representation of different parts of the UK, making the projected results all the more robust.

“By working in partnership with these local authorities to test the EnergyPath software it will help them to generate much longer term local energy transition plans specific to their locations,” said Programme Director Grant Bourhill. “The software will help to identify what technical solutions should be used and effectively create a long term energy masterplan for a specific local area.”

The software trial has been readily embraced by Greater Manchester’s Low Carbon Hub, the city region’s lead agency for delivering on our aims of a stronger low carbon economy and 48% cuts in carbon emissions by 2050.

“Keeping local residents warm and comfortable, while cutting our carbon emissions, is an important strategic goal for Greater Manchester and will help us rise to the challenge of finding smart ways to heat our homes in the future,” said Mark Atherton,  Director of Environment, AGMA.

“As we know that 80% of our building stock will still be standing in 2050, we know that hitting our climate goals will undoubtedly mean bringing smarter systems, and technologies, into play.”

The programme will also help support Greater Manchester’s ‘clean growth’ programmes and its role as a ‘smart city’ advocate in the C40  (a global network of cities supporting action on climate change) and other national and international city networks.

“By being part of this project, we will be at the forefront of insight and research whilst benefitting from significant investment and practical demonstrations of new modelling, software and technology in action,” said Stockport Chief Executive Eamonn Boylann, who is the lead senior officer for matters sustainability-related. “This can only help further our low carbon ambitions and have a positive social and economic impact on our communities.”