How digital twins can enhance climate resilience

How can digital twins help us tackle the effects of climate change? The Climate Resilience Demonstrator aims to find out, using connected data and virtual modelling to enhance the reliability of energy, telecoms and utilities services under extreme weather conditions.

A photo of fast moving river with the riverbank in the background.


As we look to the future of climate change, infrastructure planning improvements are essential to minimise disruption to vital public services during periods of extreme weather. From medical equipment losing power to an emergency service call operator losing contact, in the most extreme examples a delay of even a few minutes could be devastating. To keep people safe and ensure reliable services are maintained, connected data and virtual modelling could make a big difference.


Aiming to create the first digital twin of its kind in the UK, the Hartree Centre worked with the National Digital Twin programme (NDTp) as part of a larger consortium to investigate how connected data across weather, water, energy and telecoms systems could provide access to the right information at the right time to improve adaptation and resilience. Using the Hartree Centre’s data engineering leadership, the project specifically explored the effects of flooding caused by extreme weather, connecting data from the different sectors to create the Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo). The digital twin proof-of concept demonstrates how infrastructure operators can use secure, resilient information sharing across sector boundaries to mitigate the effect of flooding on performance and service delivery to customers.


Alongside the potential to reduce disruption and ensure public safety in extreme weather, CReDo demonstrates how infrastructure operators could also benefit from connected digital twins. Having digital predictions available enables companies to speed up the decision-making process, reducing the cost and time taken to resolve disruption. Connected digital twins are an important part of achieving climate resilience and Net Zero, by creating efficiencies in systems that could prevent future damage. Connected data can provide better insights and lead to improved resilience of systems overall. CReDo provides a critical demonstration of how interoperability between digital twins can unlock further value for society and the UK economy.

“Trying to predict and mitigate the effects of climate change when you can only see a small part of the bigger picture is almost impossible. Connected data is the key.”

Tom Collingwood, STFC Hartree Centre

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