Technology Case Studies
The energy technology innovation case studies cover a range of contrasting technologies, which are at different levels of maturity, ranging from modular products through to site-assembled installations and even entire energy systems.
Heat pump technology is more than a century old. Heat pumps can contribute to energy sector decarbonisation by allowing low-carbon electricity to be used for heat. Heat pumps have rapidly gained market share in countries from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, but have had limited take-up in the UK.
The convergence of information/communication and energy technologies could transform electricity distribution as well as relationships between suppliers and consumers. Innovation is occurring not just in technology, but also in business models and consumer engagement.
Shale gas production has expanded rapidly in the United States, enabled by a cluster of innovations. The pace has largely been set by the private sector and, unlike the other case studies, has not been driven by the low-carbon agenda.
Wave energy has a huge resource potential but a dominant design has yet to emerge and there has been limited progress towards commercialisation. This case study helps us understand better the barriers to innovation.
Wind energy contributes more to electricity production than any renewable technology other than hydro. Output has been growing at more than 25% annually. Falling costs have been associated with economies of scale and market entry by diversified engineering majors.