This Project is the first of three focused on assessment of different energy pathways. The overall objective of this project is to take the pathway characterisations from Project 4 and use them to quantify impacts and interactions on ESs and natural capital within the UK. Since the provision (and value) of these services and stocks varies spatially, a critical first step is to identify where, within the UK, the relevant energy technologies could and should be located. Subsequent projects will assess the impacts of alternative siting options, with a focus on gaps in current knowledge with respect to i) emerging energy technologies, ii) implications of changes in demand side infrastructure, iii) tools for evaluating cultural ecosystem services and iv) impacts on terrestrial biodiversity and marine/coastal habitats. Outputs will feed into the economic assessments in WP6.


This project will extend the pathway characterisations developed in Project 4 by identifying potential locations within the UK for the relevant generation facilities and other infrastructure.


There are a number of national planning policy statements and research reports that can be used to derive suitability criteria for locating energy infrastructure. Digital data layers corresponding to these criteria will be compiled within a GIS (e.g. existing energy infrastructure, designated areas, geological characteristics, grades of agricultural land; population distributions and associated energy demand) and multi-criteria weighted overlay techniques used to generate suitability maps at a 100m raster resolution. This work will build upon experience gained in previous research at UEA on mapping land availability for bioenergy and at Leeds on GIS-based multi-criteria evaluation and will incorporate constraints imposed by the need to create a UK-wide ecological network that supports biodiversity. It is anticipated that there will be more ambiguity regarding the identification of suitable locations for some types of energy technologies than others (i.e. a wider range of possible sites) but it will still be feasible to identify sets of locations and associated land use changes for input into subsequent analyses.

Siting energy infrastructure to optimise natural capital (University of East Anglia)


The key outputs from Project 5 will be a series of GIS data layers that will be provided to other project partners involved in the assessment of UK impacts (i.e. Projects 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10) and Project 11.