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An analysis of electricity system flexibility for Great Britain


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This report assesses the benefits of different flexibility solutions for a future UK electricity system. It first uses a systems analysis to determine the optimal deployment of additional flexibility technologies given their uncertain future costs. It further determines the level of deployment of these technologies that avoids the worst possible regret.
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... (1) Reducing balancing costs through the displacement of more expensive, and carbonintensive forms of flexibility such as an open-cycle gas turbine [77]. (2) Network operators, through schemes such as active network management, can defer costly network reinforcements by utilising consumer flexibility to minimise the breaching of network operational limits [14][15][16][17][18]. ...
... a. Furthermore, these relatively small investments into flexible demand-side assets can postpone decisions on larger investment until more evidence is collected, reducing the scope for making potentially high regret decisions [77][78][79]. ...
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The design of electricity markets determines the technologies, services and modes of operation that can access value, consequently shaping current and future electricity landscapes. This paper highlights that the efficacy of Great Britain’s electricity market design in facilitating net zero is inadequate and must be reconfigured. The rules of the current electricity market design are remnants of an electricity sector dominated by large-scale, centralised, fossil fuel technologies. Therefore, routes to market for the provision of necessary services to support net zero, not least flexibility, are largely inaccessible for distributed energy resources and, despite their benefits to the system, are thus undervalued. Based upon a review and consolidation of 30 proposed electricity market designs from liberalised electricity sectors, this paper proposes a new electricity market design for Great Britain. This design is presented alongside a new institutional framework to aid in the efficient operation of the market. Specifically, this paper proposes a new local balancing and coordinating market located at each grid supply point (the transmission and distribution interface). This is realised through the implementation of a distributed locational marginal pricing structure which is governed by the evolution of the current distributed network operator, known as the distributed service provider (DSP). The DSP also operates a local balancing and ancillary market for their geographical area. The wholesale market is reconfigured to coordinate with these new local markets and to harmonise the actors across the distribution and transmission network.
... It appears as though use of the term 'least regret' with respect to future energy scenarios started gaining traction in (National Grid, 2015Sanders et al., 2016;Zachary, 2016). I first heard its use at the Energy and Economic Growth Grid Reliability and Utility Operations conference in February 2020 in Accra, Ghana.1 INTRODUCTION ...
When the power outages of 2015 occurred, 81% of Zambian grid electricity was powered by assets financed by the World Bank—all of it hydropower. The World Bank’s investment in hydropower came at a time when 85% of Zambia’s electricity was consumed by Zambia’s copper mining industry, which was also its direct intended beneficiary in 1973. In general, thinking within the Bank held that allocating resources for ‘productive’ sectors of the economy was justified because those sectors would then pay the taxes required to pay for ‘social’ infrastructure. Human development indicators do not suggest an improvement in quality of life for Zambians following the power investments until decades later, and for that the causality cannot be convincingly attributed to power generation. By 2018, only a third of the population was connected to the grid, meaning that investment in power for the mining sector still has not trickled down in power for all. Mining’s growth did however spur manufacturing growth, but that was stymied by neoliberal economic restructuring by the Zambian government on the advice of the Bretton Woods organisations in the 1990s. Manufacturing shows greater potential and better value per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy than mining for generating employment and GDP growth.
... It appears as though use of the term 'least regret' with respect to future energy scenarios started gaining traction in (National Grid, 2015Sanders et al., 2016;Zachary, 2016). I first heard its use at the Energy and Economic Growth Grid Reliability and Utility Operations conference in February 2020 in Accra, Ghana.1 INTRODUCTION ...
Microeconomic analyses of the impact of power outages do not suffer from the oversimplifying assumptions that macroeconomic analyses do, but microeconomic analyses relying on firm-level surveys are constrained by the accuracy of answers given by respondents. Research has found that power outages adversely impact productivity, but that the impact on manufacturing subsectors is not equal, and that neither is the downstream impact of an affected sector. Research has found that firms would be willing to shift their work timings if lower off-peak tariffs were offered, thus abating peak demand. Fewer long-duration interruptions are less damaging than several very short outages. Firms have multiple coping mechanisms, of which using backup diesel generation is one. Characteristics that predict whether firms use backup diesel generation are firm size, age, export orientation and sector. With fewer outages, firms were less equipped to respond to them, and so the bigger the individual cost when they did occur. Zambia experienced power outages prior to 2015, but not to the same extent, as demand caught up with Zambia’s supply. Manufacturing growth slowed. Lafarge in Zambia attributed its reduced revenues and profits from 2014 to 2016 to outages. Backup diesel generation accounted for about 10% of Zambia’s emissions in some months of 2019.
... Onsite, small-scale batteries and electric vehicle-to-grid storage are some examples of distributed EES technologies for private consumers. The ever-growing electrification of transport, heating and other sectors are expected to change the pattern and magnitude of electricity demand over the coming decades [43]. Accurate modelling of electricity demand over such extended periods, i.e., 20-30 years, is crucial to understand how consumer electricity prices will vary in the future and how investment in distributed technologies will return economically. ...
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Distributed energy storage is a solution for balancing variable renewable energy such as solar photovoltaic (PV). Small-scale energy storage systems can be centrally coordinated to offer different services to the grid, such as balancing and peak shaving. This paper shows how centralized and distributed coordination of residential electricity storage could affect the savings of owners of battery energy storage and solar PV. A hybrid method is applied to model the operation of solar PV-storage for a typical UK householder, linked with a whole-system power system model to account for long-term energy transitions. Based on results, electricity consumers can cut electricity bills by 28-44% using storage alone, 45-56% with stand-alone solar PV, while 82-88% with PV-battery combined. Centralized coordination of home batteries offers 10% higher benefits compared to distributed operation. Under centralized coordination, consumers without onsite energy technologies benefit almost double compared to PV-battery owners, because peak electricity prices decline in the system for all consumers. Therefore, the economic benefits of aggregation may be redistributed to incentivize prosumers with PV-battery to join such schemes, who can balance their electricity demand even without coordination. The private value of distributed energy storage declines as more storage owners join the coordination scheme.
... Energy is one of the key components of strategies for future urban design [27][28][29], which encompass electricity, gas and thermal grids in combination [30,31]. As an example, the benefit of such smart and flexible energy systems to the UK could amount to up to £40bn by 2050 [32]. Lithium-ion battery energy storage systems (LIB-ESS) are perceived as an essential component of smart energy systems and provide a range of grid services. ...
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Lithium-ion Batteries (LIB) are an essential facilitator of the decarbonisation of the transport and energy system, and their high energy densities represent a major technological achievement and resource for humankind. In this research, it has been argued that LIBs have penetrated everyday life faster than our understanding of the risks and challenges associated with them. The current safety standards in the car industry have benefited from over 130 years of evolution and refinement, and Electric Vehicle (EV) and LIB are comparably in their infancy. This paper considers some of the issues of safety over the life cycle of batteries, including: the End of Life disposal of batteries, their potential reuse in a second-life application (e.g. in Battery Energy Storage Systems), recycling and unscheduled End of Life (i.e. accidents). The failure mechanism and reports from a range of global case studies, scenarios and incidents are described to infer potential safety issues and highlight lessons that can be learned. Therefore, the safety risks of LIBs were categorised, and the regularity requirements to create and inform a wider debate on the general safety of LIBs were discussed. From the analysis, a range of gaps in current approaches have been identified and the risk management systems was discussed. Ultimately, it is concluded that robust educational and legal processes are needed to understand and manage the risks for first responders and the public at large to ensure a safe and beneficial transition to low carbon transportation and energy system.
... By geospatial analysis, energy system planners, market designers and policymakers can get an overview of the system, which would allow them to make strategic decisions and develop the right assets at the right location. Such early signposts are required for demand owners or aggregators to develop sufficient demand before it is needed and to ensure the security of flexibility supply [31]. Furthermore, since these flexible resources are consumer-owned, it usually takes longer to acquire, activate, aggregate and test them. ...
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Demand flexibility is needed to manage the challenges of decarbonising the heating and transport sectors and integrating large shares of intermittent renewable generation. While existing literature has provided models for estimating the response potential of some flexible devices, they have not been applied to assess if the response in a location is sufficient to solve the grid issue. Grid issues such as constraint and congestions are geographical issues and hence can be studied through GIS analysis. This paper presents a methodology for the spatio-temporal assessment of demand flexibility opportunities, response potential and adequacy in solving various grid issues of a country. We provide a method that may be used to link the electrical network with socio-demographic spatial data when the low voltage network data is not available using the k-nearest neighbour classification algorithm. The proposed method was able to match neighbourhoods with their primary substation with an accuracy of 60–94%. By segmenting neighbourhoods based on various metrics, we perform a left-behind analysis to identify vulnerable consumer groups at risk of being left behind in the energy transition and propose a flexibility prioritisation model that ensures a fair distribution of flexibility opportunities across all locations. Finally, we present the Northern Ireland demand flexibility map, an interactive tool for use by system planners to help in developing an effective flexibility strategy as well as a flexibility implementation pathway for Northern Ireland.
... much cheaper than installing reactive power compensating equipment). Then, VSC-HVDC links are ranked third, as relevant literature has shown that a transition to RES penetration levels close to 100% would require vast amount of interconnection between countries and continents [22]. Considering that these links would probably be MMCbased, as is the state-of-the-art these days, they would have capability to operate even in STATCOM mode, which would offer them great capabilities for reactive power provision. ...
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The electrical energy generated from renewable energy resources connected to transmission and distribution systems and the displacement of synchronous generators continues to grow. This presages a paradigm-shift away from the traditional provision of ancillary services, essential to ensure a robust system, from transmission-connected synchronous generators towards provision from synchronous and non-synchronous generation (including distribution-connected resources). Given that the available resources at the disposal of system operators are continuously increasing, the flexibility for operating the network can be enlarged. In this context, this paper introduces a dedicated voltage ancillary services strategy for provision of reactive power. A main feature of the proposed strategy is that it is technology-neutral, unlike existing ones that are focused on synchronous generators. The system need for voltage stability is placed at the core of this strategy, which is translated into a requirement for reactive power provision. The proposed strategy achieves, through the combined utilization of distributed generation and traditional resources, to defer the investments in reactive compensating equipment. Dynamic and transient studies are conducted to demonstrate the technical benefits of the strategy, while its practical feasibility is also validated through hardware-in-the-loop testing.
... Currently, the generation fuel mix mainly depends on gas and coal. Hence, the details 13 on the near-term planning of gas, coal and hydro power plants that are under construction and in the planned stages are also modelled in the OSeMOSYS, which will be further discussed in 12 The assumption based on some studies investigating the benefits of demand-side flexibility mechanism and smoothening the demand profiles with predefined technology penetration rates and flexible technology deployment in long-term transitions to balance the energy system (Kesicki and Anandarajah 2011, Sanders, Hart et al. 2016, Li and Pye 2018 can be used for power generation. POME is also produced when palm oil fresh fruit bunches are processed. ...
Conference Paper
This thesis studies the challenges of formulating strategies for decarbonising the energy systems in many countries that are battling to reduce carbon emissions and seriously considering incorporating environmental issues in the process of energy planning and policy-making. It presents the development of mathematical models and analysis to obtain insights on optimal and near-optimal decarbonisation strategies. The energy system of Malaysia is used as a case study to analyse energy related issues and investigate the decarbonisation of the energy systems. Under the landscape of demand–supply uncertainties at a multiregional level, a novel Modelling to Generate Alternatives (MGA) hybrid (MAED-OSeMOSYS) approach has been developed to capture the electricity trade option between three regions of Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak, analysing in detail the end-use technologies of various sectors and the integration of end-use technologies with the power sector. It analysed the possibility of achieving least-cost optimal decarbonisation targets in Malaysia and concluded that the development of advanced and clean technologies needed in the system across all sectors, mainly power, industry and transportation. Further, it also investigated the near-optimal decarbonisation strategies that provided different insights on the possible evolution of a low carbon electricity sector in Malaysia with the implementation of the MGA technique. Additional investments and flexibility in categories of technology constraints imposed in the system. These constraints influence the type of technology to be deployed and make a difference in the diffusion of the power technologies, which result in carbon emissions reduction in the system. The application of the MGA technique provides researchers with the flexibility to explore alternative pathways within a cost optimal solution range, which provides new knowledge in the application of this technique to the OSeMOSYS model. This thesis provides insights to policy makers of middle-sized countries on feasible decarbonisation and investment strategies that may have important investment, trade and policy implications and relevance at a national and international level. This research on its own merits gives Malaysia and other similar middle-sized developing countries a high added value to its energy modelling analysis, which is scarce in comparison to energy modelling research of developed countries.
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The expansion of lithium-ion batteries from consumer electronics to larger-scale transport and energy storage applications has made understanding the many mechanisms responsible for battery degradation increasingly important. The literature in this complex topic has grown considerably; this perspective aims to distil current knowledge into a succinct form, as a reference and a guide to understanding battery degradation. Unlike other reviews, this work emphasises the coupling between the different mechanisms and the different physical and chemical approaches used to trigger, identify and monitor various mechanisms, as well as the various computational models that attempt to simulate these interactions. Degradation is separated into three levels: the actual mechanisms themselves, the observable consequences at cell level called modes and the operational effects such as capacity or power fade. Five principal and thirteen secondary mechanisms were found that are generally considered to be the cause of degradation during normal operation, which all give rise to five observable modes. A flowchart illustrates the different feedback loops that couple the various forms of degradation, whilst a table is presented to highlight the experimental conditions that are most likely to trigger specific degradation mechanisms. Together, they provide a powerful guide to designing experiments or models for investigating battery degradation.
This paper describes a methodology for assessing the transmission network adequacy in systems with significant contribution of wind generation. The historical network design standards were conceptualised for conventional generation and applying those standards to wind generation, given its lower reliability performance, is shown to lead to transmission overinvestment when wind generation is located in an exporting area or to underinvestment and a significant increase in the risk of loss of supply when it is located in an importing area. The objective of this work is therefore to update the methodology for determining the adequacy of transmission capacity to reflect the characteristics of wind generation, while maintaining the overall philosophy of the existing standards. This work is conducted to inform the review of the Great Britain (GB) network design standards to incorporate wind generation. Case studies are presented in the context of a simplified GB transmission system model to demonstrate that wind power tends to drive less transmission capacity than conventional generation.
The intermittent nature of wind power and the high ratings of next-generation nuclear units mean that low-carbon power systems will have high short-term reserve requirements, if these requirements are determined using current methods. Meanwhile, the flexible fossil-fuel generators, which have been the traditional providers of reserve services, will run much less frequently. A fundamental review of the reserve requirement is therefore needed if power systems are to absorb high wind penetrations in an efficient manner. A fast Stochastic Unit Commitment algorithm is presented, which accounts for the uncertainties in demand, wind power and thermal generator outages, and schedules both frequency response (primary reserve) and longer-term reserves considering the costs and benefits of their provision. It is shown through multi-year simulations that stochastic scheduling can have substantial benefits at high wind penetrations, in terms of wind curtailment and efficient running of the flexible generators. Under the assumptions made, the cost reduction, compared with system operation under current reserve requirements, is about 4 per cent at a 50 per cent penetration.
Time-domain scheduling simulation is the most effective tool for predicting the operational costs in wind-integrated power systems, because it can represent the inter-temporal constraints that limit the balancing actions of the thermal plant, storage, and demand-side measures. High wind penetrations demand just-in-time commitment decisions that reflect the uncertainties in the wind infeed, so that it is desirable to generate the scheduling decisions using stochastic unit commitment (SUC) with rolling planning. However, the computational burden can make such methods impractical in long simulations. We present an efficient formulation of the SUC problem that is designed for use in scheduling simulations of single-bus power systems. Unlike traditional SUC techniques, the proposed formulation uses a quantile-based scenario tree structure that avoids the need for exogenous operating reserves. We compare the performance of various tree topologies in year-long simulations of a large system. Simple quantile-based trees give statistically significant cost improvements over fixed-quantile deterministic methods and compare favorably with trees based on Monte Carlo-generated scenarios.
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