Nottingham Trent Basin is a current example of how a switch to low-carbon living could be possible.
Not only is it possible in Nottingham, but the framework can be extended beyond the city to the rest of the UK.
The first step is understanding the idea of localised energy.
What exactly does this mean?
When a community can generate its own electricity, it uses less and shares more. This model may even become the standard for energy use in the future.
The Community Battery
The Trent Basin project houses its own large-scale battery, which is used to store renewable energy which has been generated on site.
The energy stored in the battery is then redistributed to the rest of the community.
You can see the appeal. If there is one source wherein a community’s energy is generated, stored and redistributed from, the overall process not only becomes more efficient but has an equally positive effect on all involved.
There are numerous benefits, such as:
- More efficient energy use
- Less distance for the energy to travel, meaning less wastage
- Surplus energy can be sold back to the grid – residents can use the profits to offset their energy costs
The current system is largely flawed; we have a few large-scale power plants which burn fossil fuels to provide us our energy. This process is inefficient, dirty and a large contributor to climate change.
Instead of relying on a handful of these types of power sources, the goal is to have a number of smaller-scale producers who are using low-cost renewables. As a result, a community can generate and trade their own energy without having to rely on bigger producers.
The Main Goal
Trent Basin’s community energy project is one of many funded by Innovate UK intent on shifting the country to low-carbon living.
The main goal is to execute this particular concept on a wider scale. The materials being used aren’t necessarily new, but implementing them as part of a community energy scheme definitely is.
If the community battery concept in Trent Basin can produce a solid business model which can be applied to other developments, then the UK as a whole will benefit significantly.
Not only will the model equate to better economic benefits, but we’ll also reap both environmental and social rewards.
The environment will benefit greatly from the lack of fossil fuel use, as well as lower emissions and less wastage in general. The social benefits range from lower energy costs to more efficient energy use.
To find out more about Innovate UK and their various projects, subscribe to their YouTube channel here.