EPSRC funded research study undertaken by the University of Edinburgh into the potential and value of smart local energy systems as an approach to adapting land uses was published 20 June 2023. This included a techno economic analysis and a public perception (citizen behaviour) survey.
Perth West was the case study with encouraging conclusions.
Perth West is a £500m mixed-use sustainable expansion to the city of Perth, with 3,500 houses, an industrial hub comprising electric vehicle facilities and a renewable generation park. An interdisciplinary team from the University of Edinburgh composed of members from the School of Engineering and the School of Geosciences conducted a study under the IAA project funding, with close collaboration with the EnergyRev consortium. The project aimed at the assessment of the techno-economic and social feasibility and value offered by different design options for Perth West’s energy system.
The results showed that the implementation of a smart local energy system (SLES) composed of a PV farm and utility-scale battery can reduce site emissions by 48%. The deployment of a smart system for home charging (i.e., smart charging or vehicle-to-grid schemes) will alleviate the stress on the network and reduce import costs by up to 17%.
The social study found that residents are willing to engage with the net zero agenda, demonstrating an appetite to alter their transport habits and retrofit their homes. Nevertheless, the cost is still the main barrier and the availability of the charging infrastructure would be a significant help in implementing the interest in EV uptake.