UCL Energy Institute


Spatially and Temporally Explicit Energy System Modelling


1 October 2015

Renewable energy sources and electricity demand vary with time and space and the energy system is constrained by the location of the current infrastructure in place. The transitioning to a low carbon energy society can be facilitated by combining long term planning of infrastructure with taking spatial and temporal characteristics of the energy system into account. There is a lack of studies addressing this systemic view. We soft-link two models in order to analyse long term investment decisions in generation, transmission and storage capacities and the effects of short-term fluctuation of renewable supply: The national energy system model UKTM (UK TIMES model) and a dispatch model. The modelling approach combines the benefits of two models: an energy system model to analyse decarbonisation pathways and a power dispatch model that can evaluate the technical feasibility of those pathways and the impact of intermittent renewable energy sources on the power market. Results give us the technical feasibility of the UKTM solution from 2010 until 2050. This allows us to determine lower bounds of flexible elements and feeding them back in an iterative process (e.g. storage, demand side control, balancing). We apply the methodology to study the long-term investments of wind infrastructure in the United Kingdom.

Spatially and Temporally Explicit Energy System Modelling to Support the Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Infrastructure – Case Study for Wind Energy in the UK. International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure Conference Proceedings: 30 September - 1 October 2014 International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA),Schloss Laxenburg, Vienna, Austria.

Zeyringer, M.T., Daly, H., Fais, B., Sharp, E., Strachan, N. (2015)