What is the energy revolution challenge?

Smart energy systems can intelligently link energy supply, storage and use, and power heating and transport in ways that dramatically improve efficiency. It’s a huge market opportunity, with $2 trillion a year estimated to be invested in global energy infrastructure.

The government is enabling the UK to take advantage of this by funding industry and researchers to create new systems. They will provide cleaner, cheaper energy, while creating high value jobs for the UK.

Doing so will meet government’s priorities set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, the Smart Energy Systems and Flexibility Plan and Industrial Strategy’s clean growth pillar. It will help the UK to meet air quality targets at lower investment costs, avoid power cuts and ensure its compliance with the fifth carbon budget (from 2028).

What is the investment?

The government will invest up to £102.5 million in industry and researchers to develop smart systems that can support the global move to renewable energy.

What is the opportunity?

Opportunities will be available to UK-based researchers and businesses.

There will be multiple opportunities run through this challenge. More information will be added here as it becomes available. Those announced so far are:


Four local energy demonstrators were funded in April 2019. These will be built over the next 3 years to illustrate how integrated intelligent local systems can deliver power, heat and mobility to users in new and better ways.

The funded projects are:

The Energy Superhub Oxford

Project lead – Pivot Power LLP

Consortia: Habitat Energy Limited, Kensa, Oxford City Council, RedT Energy and the University of Oxford

The Energy Superhub Oxford will showcase electric vehicle charging, energy storage systems, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies to support Oxford City Council's journey to zero carbon. ESO aims to deliver savings of 20,000 tonnes of CO2 per year by 2021, rising to 44,000 tonnes per year by 2032.

ReFLEX Orkney

Project lead – European Marine Energy Centre

Consortia: Aquatera, Community Energy Scotland, Doosan-Babcock, Heriot-Watt University, Orkney Islands Council and Solo Energy

The ReFLEX (Responsive Flexibility) Orkney project will demonstrate a first-of-its-kind Virtual Energy System (VES), interlinking local electricity, transport and heat networks into one system. The project aims to create a ‘smart energy island’, demonstrating the energy system of the future, which will reduce and eventually eliminate the need for fossil fuels.

Project Leo (Local Energy Oxfordshire)

Project lead – Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

Consortia: EDF Energy, Nuuve, Open Utility, Origami Energy, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, The Low Carbon Hub C.I.C. and the University of Oxford

Project LEO will take a Distribution System Operator (DSO) approach to implementing new energy projects across the city, and to facilitating future forecasting and planning. A local energy marketplace will enable virtual aggregation of loads and the ability to dispatch flexibility across a range of projects, as well as execute local peer-to-peer trading. A data interface with the DSO will enable better active network management and visibility/forecasting of local constraints

Smart Hub SLES

Project lead – Advanced Infrastructure

Consortia: Connected Energy, Flexitricity, Honda Motor Europe, ITM Power, ICAX, Moixa Technology, Passiv- Systems, Switch2 Energy, The Carbon and Energy Fund, West Sussex County Council, Newcastle University

Smart Hubs SLES in West Sussex will integrate energy management across council housing, private residential properties, transport infrastructure and commercial properties. The project will deploy a number of innovative technologies (a hybrid hydrogen/electric vehicle filling station and mesh networks for power management) alongside more established but not widely deployed technologies such as hybrid gas/electric heat networks.


Eleven energy design projects showcasing ambitious energy systems have been established across the country. They will develop concepts for rural, urban, domestic, industrial, commercial and mixed energy systems.

A second call for detailed designs projects will run from May to August 2019.

See a recent list of winners

Innovation accelerator fund

The fund will:

  • develop and help commercialise smart local energy system products and services
  • capitalise on the best international opportunities.

See a recent list of winners

Research and integration services

We have invested £8 million into a consortium focused on researching local energy systems and accelerating their uptake. to research into local energy systems.

The consortium is led by the University of Strathclyde and includes 29 investigators across 22 universities, working to ensure that UK academic expertise delivers impact and a competitive advantage.

The consortium will work closely with the Energy Systems Catapult to provide analysis, evaluation and assessment of the projects funded under the prospering from the energy revolution challenge.

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