Sign up for NPL updates
Sign up for NPL updates

Receive regular emails from NPL to get a glimpse of our activities and see how our experts are informing and influencing scientific debate

Measurement for our planet

How our measurement science is supporting the transition to decarbonised energy sources

Energy vector and infrastructure

How new energy vectors and their associated infrastructure can help us to address climate change.

Why does energy vector and infrastructure matter in relation to climate change?

The UK Government has set a net zero target that requires transformational change across many sectors as they look to transition towards decarbonisation. Both government and industry will be weighing up options for the deployment of decarbonised energy vectors and are looking to address the greater risk of grid instability due to renewable intermittency, whilst ensuring power quality and reducing demand-side interference. They will also be investigating how to deal with increased management complexity due to transition to a multi-way systems model, all while considering the efficiency and safety of the grid, including security and incident management.

Gas and electricity demand is highly interlinked, with gas currently supplying the highest proportion of energy delivered. This balance could shift substantially due to the electrification of transport and heat, depending on the level of ambition achieved in the decarbonisation of industrial and domestic sectors. The decarbonisation of our energy system will be a potentially disruptive change for the UK economy and its citizens, so getting the mix of solutions right is essential.

How is NPL supporting future energy vectors and infrastructure?

We are looking to support the deployment of future energy vectors which will require complex electrical network management alongside safe, clean, future gases to fulfil society’s energy needs, whatever the energy generation mix. Future energy vectors and their associated infrastructure includes several technical areas where measurement can assist, such as smart grids, hydrogen for the grid, batteries for grid storage, nuclear, off-shore wind, solar PV and organic PV and carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS).

Our series of Energy Transition reports explore the measurement needs for hydrogen, batteries and CCUS in detail – you can access these reports here 

Related content

Enabling new energy sources

NPL participates in a range of research programmes, including investigating: hydrogen and its applications, carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS), renewable energy generation and integration of renewable technologies.


The demand for energy will increase as  societies all over the world become more digitally connected, integrated and dependent on electronic devices. It will also become more sustainable and integrated.  

Measurement for our planet: Leaders’ briefing

If you’re a minister, policy maker or industry leader and would like to find out how measurement can support you in ensuring the accuracy of the information used for decision making in support of climate action, then we can help.

Metrology expertise that provides confidence in climate data

Climate measurement including earth observation


Identifying and quantifying greenhouse gas emissions at local and national scales

Greenhouse gas emissions measurement


Measurement for our planet


Understanding emissions from agriculture and observation of land systems

Agriculture, forestry and other land use


Measurement to test, validate and enable zero emission transport solutions

Decarbonisation of transport


Enabling low carbon manufacturing through materials testing and process development

Advanced manufacturing and materials for net zero