The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is to carry out a comprehensive review of the costs and performance of four key types of energy infrastructure across the whole of the UK.
The project will produce data for electricity, gas, hydrogen and heat and will look at transmission, distribution, storage, conversions and connections between now and 2050.
It will also examine the cost differences within 12 different onshore regions (East, East Midlands, London, North East, North West, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South East, South West, Wales, West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber) as well as nine offshore regions for transmission (Channel Islands, Dogger Bank, East Scotland, Hebrides, Irish Sea, Lundy, Norfolk, Pentland, Shetlands) and two regions for offshore storage (North Sea and Humber).
A request for proposals (RfP) has been issued for organisations wanting to get involved in the project and more details are available here.
The deadline for the notification of intention to submit a proposal is 14 June and all proposals must be received by 12 July.
ETI chief executive Dr David Clarke said: "The UK has agreed to a legally binding 80% reduction in CO2 by 2050, whilst maintaining a sufficient supply of energy. The national energy system in 2050 is unlikely to look like it does today. It is likely to be much more integrated across power, heat and transport and that may require different infrastructure elements, particularly for heat and electricity distribution and for new gases such as biogas and potentially hydrogen. As we set out down a pathway to 2050 we need to understand the potential costs and performance of the energy infrastructure that will carry energy from where it is generated to where it is consumed.
"The targets are challenging and if we are to cut CO2 emissions whilst, at the same time, meeting an anticipated increase in demand, it is essential that we maximise efficiency of energy generation, transmission and distribution.
"Whilst the majority of the fixed infrastructure is currently used for electricity or gas, this project will have a more expansive scope and will also consider hydrogen and heat infrastructure."
The project will provide data on the costs and performance associated with key types of fixed energy infrastructure which will then be used to assess the relative merits of using different types of infrastructure in differing generation and demand scenarios.
This will help provide a more accurate analysis and support national decisions on the overall energy system in the period to 2050.
Dr Clarke added: "The high cost and long life of energy infrastructure means that decisions made now will have an impact well beyond 2050 so it is important that those decisions are as well informed as possible. A large proportion of the UK's energy infrastructure will need replacing or updating over the next 40 years so having this data will allow the level of investment in different types of infrastructure and associated energy system components to be properly evaluated."
The ETI is a public private partnership between six global industrial companies and the UK Government tasked with developing "mass scale" technologies that will help the UK meet its 2020 and 2050 energy targets. It is concerned with identifying affordable, sustainable and secure energy across heat, power, transport and the infrastructure that links them.