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Designing low-carbon power systems for Great Britain in 2050 that are robust to the spatiotemporal and inter-annual variability of weather

Zeyringer, M; Price, J; Fais, B; Li, PH; Sharp, E; (2018) Designing low-carbon power systems for Great Britain in 2050 that are robust to the spatiotemporal and inter-annual variability of weather. Nature Energy , 3 (5) pp. 395-403. 10.1038/s41560-018-0128-x. Green open access

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Abstract

The design of cost-effective power systems with high shares of variable renewable energy (VRE) technologies requires a modelling approach that simultaneously represents the whole energy system combined with the spatiotemporal and inter-annual variability of VRE. Here, we soft-link a long-term energy system model, which explores new energy system configurations from years to decades, with a high spatial and temporal resolution po wer system model that captures VRE variability from hours to years. Applying this methodology to Great Britain for 2050, we find that VRE-focused power system design is highly sensitive to the inter-annual variability of weather and that planning based on a single year can lead to operational inadequacy and failure to meet long-term decarbonization objectives. However, some insights do emerge that are relatively stable to weather-year. Reinforcement of the transmission system consistently leads to a decrease in system costs while electricity storage and flexible generation, needed to integrate VRE into the system, are generally deployed close to demand centres.

Type: Article
Title: Designing low-carbon power systems for Great Britain in 2050 that are robust to the spatiotemporal and inter-annual variability of weather
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41560-018-0128-x
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41560-018-0128-x
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Author(s). This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Energy modelling, Renewable energy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10048908
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