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Multi-vector Energy Systems Planning and Operation with High Penetration of Renewable Energy Sources

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The UK has legally-binding targets to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase the use of renewable sources of energy. There is a target of reducing 80% of GHG emissions by 2050, compared to the 1990 level, as well as interim targets to reduce emissions and increase the use of renewable energy for 2020 and 2030. The electrification of heat along with a large utilisation of renewable sources for power generation are considered as a solution to meet the emission and renewable targets for UK. However, these will result in variability and uncertainty in electricity supply as well as substantially higher peaks of electricity demand. If these issues are to be addressed through a "predict and provide" approach (i.e. building more capacity for back-up power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure), significantly high costs will be incurred. These costs can be reduced by employing flexibility technologies enabling peak shaving and supporting electricity demand and supply balancing.

In addition to the flexibility offered by battery storage which requires massive investment to be realised, there already exist substantial energy storage and demand response potentials within heat and gas systems which can be exploited to support the operation of electricity system and facilitate a cost-effective transition to a low carbon and resilient energy system. To achieve this, efficient integration of electricity, heat and gas systems across different scales is required.

This project investigates the role of battery storage and power-to-gas systems to accommodate large capacity of intermittent power generation from wind and solar and therefore facilitates matching electricity supply and demand. The Combined Gas and Electricity Networks (CGEN) model will be used to optimize the operation and planning of gas and electricity networks in Great Britain. Using a CGEN expansion model, the impact of demand side response (DSR) on the electricity and gas supply systems in GB will also be investigated in this project.

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