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Future energy systems focus on clean energy delivery, and how innovation, technology and digitalisation can help decarbonise the energy sector. If the UK Government and industry’s 50GW by 2030 ambitions are met, offshore wind could supply 32% of electricity generation by the end of the decade and 59% by 2050.  


Incorporating this degree of variable renewable energy will require new thinking as to how the energy systems are managed.  


Future ‘smart’ energy systems will feature new and improved technologies for understanding systems-level behaviour, energy flows between the electricity and gas networks, energy storage (e.g. large lithium-ion batteries), automation of distribution networks, use of hydrogen, and peer-to-peer energy trading, among others. 


Image credit: Energy Systems Catapult

At ORE Catapult, we are mapping the opportunities for innovative businesses in these areas and working with our partners and government to establish real-world demonstrators to accelerate the adoption of smart energy systems.


We have partnered with the likes of Energy Systems Catapult to explore the ways that energy systems can become more flexible and so use more offshore renewables.


We have mapped out the requirements for a smart energy systems demonstrator, using the community around our Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine in Fife as an example.

Research studies

Our studies to date have covered electricity distribution system mapping, distribution-level storage options at multiple timescales, hydrogen network opportunities, distributed heat storage, local grid support services from renewables assets, and fuel poverty alleviation.

Network integration

Using facilities like the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine, eGrid and mini-eGrid and Hardware in the Loop (HiL), it is possible to do functionality testing, system performance testing, design verification and model validation, subsystem/component testing using HIL, global grid compliance testing and network integration (both AC and DC).


These tests can be performed for wind turbines, tidal turbines, wave energy converters, battery systems, electrolyser systems, solar arrays, STATCOMS and smart transformers to name but a few.

Hydrogen is an abundant element throughout our universe, but recently it’s started to hit national agendas as a clean energy solution. This conversation, long discussed in scientific and tech circles, is now moving into the mainstream thanks to rapid leaps in the technologies that will make it a viable, competitively priced energy source within the next decade.”

Michelle Hitches

Senior Project Manager


Offshore wind producing green hydrogen together form a compelling combination as part of a Net Zero economy for the UK, with the potential to make major contributions to jobs, economic growth and regional regeneration as well as attracting inward investment, alongside delivering the emission reductions needed to meet our commitment to net zero. Below are some examples of projects and programmes that we have been involved in, in recent years:  


The cross-Catapult Hydrogen Innovation Initiative (HII) is focused on the offshore wind to green hydrogen challenge, as well as hydrogen fuelling for O&M vessels. The project will enable us to grow our hydrogen research and development (R&D) assets and capabilities.



The Milford Haven: Energy Kingdom project has had a clear and major impact in advancing the commercial viability of green hydrogen technology and expanding the vision for the area as a key part of the UK’s future energy system. The project aimed to accelerate the transition to an integrated hydrogen and renewable energy system by creating diverse, local, community-based markets that integrate with, and benefit from, the cluster of major energy infrastructure along the Milford Haven Waterway.

Learn about the project


To learn about our hydrogen projects and offerings, contact Michelle Hitches:
Michelle Hitches, Senior Project Manager, Future Energy, ORE Catapult

Michelle Hitches

Senior Project Manager