The urgent need to lower carbon emissions makes speeding up development of the UK's renewable energy resources a major priority. But long before any renewable energy technology is installed, basic questions need answering to assess whether a site is potentially suitable, saving money from being wasted on sites with poor resource potential or serious constraints.
D4S helps stakeholders (e.g. landowners, surveyors) to answer questions such as:
D4S is a web-mapping service that uses multiple sources of environmental data to map resources and constraints. These data are then used to map the overall feasibility for many renewable technologies.
Renewable energy vendors can target areas where their technology is more likely to be feasible. Stakeholders can assess their sites for a range of renewable energy technologies in order to dismiss unfeasible options and prioritise further work on the most feasible technologies, thus saving both resources and time.
Data4SustainableEnergy is a prototype web GIS decision-support tool, making it quicker and cheaper to evaluate the feasibility of renewable energy at a site. The project study areas are Derbyshire, the West Midlands and Nottinghamshire. The technologies included ground-source heat pumps, wind turbines, water-source heat pumps, solar photovoltaic (PV) farms and small hydro-electric.
Multiple (over 100) datasets were used in the project to create resource estimation, constraints and feasibility heat maps viewable via a fully functional website. Users can interrogate the underlying data, annotate a map and produce a pdf report that is sent to the user by email.
Uniquely, Data4SustainableEnergy deals with multiple renewable energy technologies, and covers a more comprehensive list of constraints than any similar tool, including information relating to geotechnical conditions. The web GIS is intuitive and can be learned easily.
Potential customers include landowners, developers, investors, local authorities, professional advisors, renewable-energy vendors and those with an interest in the selection and siting of renewable energy technologies.
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Innovate UK funded feasibility study for a tool to exploit multiple streams of data to investigate the feasibility of renewable energy at a site.
WebGIS shows available resource, likely constraints and overall feasibility of ground source heat pumps (GSHP) open loop, for an area in the West Midlands.
Improved prototype includes two type of GSHP – open loop vertical and closed loop horizontal.
The EMBRACE workshop invited stakeholders from outside the project to trial the prototype webGIS. Representatives from industry, public sector and large landholders investigated renewable energy feasibility at site of interest and received emailed reports summarising the information.
Completed Data4Sustain Innovate UK Feasibility Study; includes seven renewable technologies for Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and West Midlands. Technologies added were small wind, large wind, solar farms, water source heat pumps and small hydro.
Engagement with client groups to evaluate market need and desired webGIS functionality.
The D4S partners have joined the Nottingham ConnExr platform consortium for funding from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund “Smart local energy systems: demonstrators” competition. The consortium includes Nottingham City Council and University of Nottingham.
“Interface is really intuitive and easy to use”
“Good that the model ‘builds in’ environmental constraints rather than the more traditional approach to adding late as ‘problems’ to be addressed”
“Providing information on each technology is very useful”