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Urban energy

We’re working in cities across the world to meet energy demand through resilient and sustainable supply.

We’re working in cities across the world to meet energy demand through resilient and sustainable supply.

Can we power cities sustainably?

Day and night, cities consume the majority of our energy. From always-on buildings to electric vehicles, cities require a smarter and ‘whole systems thinking’ approach to energy generation, storage and use.

Effective urban energy requires solutions that are a combination of affordable, digital, resilient, local, innovative and forward-looking. It means addressing local governance issues, embracing the digital era, considering lower carbon sources like hydrogen, and using alternative funding options in order to provide sustainable, and affordable infrastructure that can power our city lives.

  • 2MW battery storage concept designed by Arup in California
  • £25m study for hydrogen potential in the UK acting as programme manager
  • 42 issues developed into an interactive tool for the World Energy Council

Rethinking generation and distribution

We apply skills and expertise taken from areas such as Renewable energy, and apply them to urban energy programmes to obtain smarter, sustainable and long term outcomes. Find out how we reduced operating costs by 35% for a whole district in Hong Kong.

We work with city leaders and energy operators to rethink generation and distribution whilst helping commercial organisations to take control of their energy needs:

New business models

New business models

Urban energy, increasingly powered by digital tools and driven by changing consumer habits and expectations. These bring new opportunities for new and existing players, with business models that respond to individual cities’ needs. We work with operators and suppliers to ensure their proposed business model is realistic, profitable and sustainable.

Designing renewable infrastructure and storage

Designing renewable infrastructure and storage

We help clients to design and operate new energy storage systems, which are vital for energy growth and sustainability. Innovative projects like the UK’s first battery-driven energy storage centre at Blackburn Meadows, for Eon energy, demonstrate how renewable energy can make a more continuous contribution to the energy supply cities depend on.

Financing urban energy

Financing urban energy

Investors can see the energy market is changing, but need the confidence to make the right calls. Our advisory services team know the market inside and out, helping clients across the world’s energy markets to develop business cases that represent the best long-term return on that crucial investment.

The transition to real time energy

The transition to real time energy

As cities move to a more complex but more flexible energy system, existing suppliers need to adopt real time systems that respond dynamically to changes in price and demand. We help energy operators to adapt to these future systems enabling them to join the new era of energy.

Regulatory changes

Regulatory changes

With the speed of technological development, regulation of energy markets is also changing. We help clients to shape a path through the developing regulation that governs energy generation, distribution and transmission, to ensure their businesses stay aligned to the shape of the market.

Flexibility and diversity 

Expanding use of renewables including rooftop solar has brought the cost of the technology down and allowed it to be more accessible. Most buildings can use the available space they have to become a ‘prosumer’- earning money from its contribution back to the wider energy grid. We help energy operators, distributors and policy makers alike build more flexible and sophisticated energy networks ready for a new generation of urban consumers. Learn more about how the way cities produce and consume power is changing.

The transactive energy era

A more complex mix of traditional energy sources and growing renewable capacity, requires a more flexible means of distribution, one that can adjust to real-time changes in demand with reliable, affordable power. This new approach is called transactive energy, where instead of a single grid, many different players contribute, consume and earn in a dynamic market model that blurs the lines between producers, distributors and consumers. 

Shaping the future of energy

The next few decades are expected to be among the most transformative the energy industry has ever seen with billions being invested to ensure the system is fit for the future. By 2035 we envisage a world with a much more diverse range of heating sources, with significantly lower emissions, and where all new vehicles are electric. We’re working with clients across the energy market to ensure they are future-proof, from new business models to upgraded infrastructure. 

A resilient supply for rising demand

We’re working with clients to optimise transmission and distribution, whilst working towards a balanced and reliable energy system including microgrids, smart storage solutions, heat networks and hydrogen. 


What are microgrids?

Microgrids provide power to specific networks of users, with supporting storage, making them ideal for organisations like hospitals or banks, who rely on an uninterrupted energy supply.

Discover more about microgrids

Energy storage

How can we store energy?

Incorporating distributed generation and storage improves the way buildings consume energy and enables landlords to potentially enjoy new revenue streams, boosting the percentage of renewables in the overall mix.

Read our five minute guide to electricity storage

Non fossil fuel powered heating

Can non-fossil fuels meet our heating needs?

Non-fossil fuel powered heating becomes possible when the grid is able to use a wider range of renewables, more of the time. District heating infrastructure can be used to lower the environmental impacts of keeping offices and homes warm.

Read our five minute guide to fossil fuels in transition


Read our latest publications