SSE Energy Solutions is to fund the most detailed research ever conducted into the performance of renewable technologies in the business sector.
The research, which is being jointly funded by the University of Glasgow and the Energy Technology Partnership (ETP), will analyse data from projects ranging from small businesses to large distribution operations.
The Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050 has seen an unprecedented uptake by businesses in behind the meter renewable technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps and battery storage with very few demonstrated studies critically analysing the performance of such solutions.
It is anticipated that the study, expected to last more than 3 years and utilising state-of-the-art digital twin technology, will identify gaps in performance and routes to improvements.
The announcement of this research underlines SSE’s commitment to the Levelling Up agenda with plans to invest £7.5bn on low carbon technologies and infrastructure to spur a green recovery, helping boost jobs and opportunities.
SSE has worked with Barnardo’s for over a decade on their employability programme for 16-24-year-olds and created a partnership with Career Ready to help support secondary school students in areas of deprivation gain real workplace experience and mentorship. SSE’s pipeline programmes attract fresh talent into the company and the industry, with people joining SSE annually through its apprenticeship scheme, Technical Skills Trainee programme and graduate programme.
Neil Kirkby, Managing Director of SSE Enterprise, said:
“At SSE we continue to prove that greener also means fairer and that decarbonisation benefits us all in more ways than just the obvious. We want to provide a solid platform for local training and employment programmes that make a real difference in upskilling communities. This PhD funding and the research it requires is another way we provide a holistic approach to supporting the levelling up of the UK.”
Professor Zhibin Yu, Professor of Thermal Energy at the University of Glasgow, said:
“We are delighted to work with SSE Energy Solutions on this exciting project, which brings together the University’s existing research on heat pumps with SSE’s vast trove of energy data to cast new light on how renewable technologies perform in the real world.
“That will help us develop models and methods for energy users to maximise the uptake of renewable energy and minimise operational costs in the future. It’s a great opportunity for a PhD student to make a real contribution to how we make the transition to net-zero in the decades to come.“
The process of recruiting a suitable student is underway with the successful candidate, who will be embedded with SSE for the duration of the PhD, due to begin no later than the end of March.