April 18th 2024

IES Digital Twin helps Stirling and Clackmannanshire create Regional Energy Masterplan

IES Digital Twin helps Stirling and Clackmannanshire create Regional Energy Masterplan

Using its state-of-the-art digital twin technology, IES has helped create a Regional Energy Masterplan for Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils with the aim to transform the area into a carbon neutral City Region.

The Regional Energy Masterplan outlines the steps required to reach a net-zero energy system across Stirling and Clackmannanshire, with specific objectives and outcomes set out, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor progress identified. The masterplan identifies and sets out a strategy for employing low carbon energy systems that are smart, fit for the future, and are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. 

To support the delivery of the regional energy masterplan, and provide projections for energy demands and carbon emissions for buildings and networks under different scenarios, IES created a digital twin model of the region. This model contains 3D geometries for every building in the region and also contains information including building fabrics, heating system, fuel type and primary use (obtained from the local councils, and the Energy Saving Trust) which will affect their energy efficiency and carbon emissions. 

Energy simulations were undertaken on the model, using IES’s physics-based thermal simulation engine to obtain accurate estimates of the total electrical and heat consumptions, and resultant carbon emissions, for each individual building. It was found that energy used to heat and power the region’s domestic and non-domestic buildings currently produces around 373 ktCO2e. 

The below diagram shows a snapshot of the region’s current energy demands across all sectors and demonstrates how different fuels and sources are used to meet them. This Regional Energy Masterplan focusses primarily on how to decarbonise energy use in buildings, with transport covered by other council policies.

Projected scenarios for energy efficiency improvements, heating system replacements and network changes have also been simulated, based on both national and regional targets outlined in the plan. This allows an understanding of the probable future carbon emissions of each building if these targets are met, and what they might be if they are not. In turn, this enables accurate estimates of the likely impacts on each of the KPIs from projected energy efficiency, heat and renewable projects.

The digital twin model will be an ongoing resource, continually updated by the councils and used to test various future scenarios for decarbonising energy use across the region.

A roadmap to net zero has been developed, spanning four phases, each five years long (2023-2028, 2028-2033, 2033-2038, 2038-2045). The final phase is slightly longer than the others, as the hardest actions will be towards the end, once all the ‘quick wins’ have been achieved. The actions and projects for each phase are split into three workstream areas: energy efficiency, heat management and energy generation.

The below diagram highlights the projected carbon reduction, provided all of these actions and projects are completed, for the region’s buildings' energy use.

The roadmap to 2045 below highlights how different strategies within the Councils and across different sectors (e.g. buildings, EV, renewables, etc.) could be sequenced or actioned simultaneously to achieve the intermediate and final decarbonisation goal. IES is now in the process to develop outline business cases for two large scale renewable projects for the Councils. 

The Regional Energy Masterplan focusses on how to address emissions due to energy use across both councils. It outlines the steps that are required for the region to achieve a net-zero energy system, as well as any potential risks and barriers that currently exist. The transition required faces several major challenges, but will provide opportunities to reduce fuel poverty, increase the security and resilience of local energy supply, increase well-being, and create new businesses, jobs and skills across the region.