The spatially and temporally high-Resolution Electricity Model, highRES, is used to identify cost-effective, flexible and robust electricity systems for the UK. The model is specifically designed to analyse the effects of high shares of variable renewables and explore integration/flexibility options.

As the proportion of renewables in the generation mix increases, there will be increasing imbalances between electricity demand and supply. highRES is a high-resolution electricity dispatch model that can identify how the most cost-effective strategies to cope with these issues, by comparing extension of the transmission grid, interconnection with other countries, building flexible generation (e.g. gas power stations), demand-side response, renewable curtailment and energy storage.

HighRES is written in GAMS. The objective function is to minimise power system costs to meet hourly demand, subject to a number of unit and system constraints. It includes technical characteristics of the thermal generators (e.g. ramping restrictions, minimum and maximum production), their emissions, and technical characteristics of storage (battery and pumped hydro). The transmission grid is represented using a DC load flow parameterisation.

To realistically model variable renewable supply and electricity demand, the model uses several years of spatially and temporally-detailed renewable generation time series that are based on weather data. For wind energy, hourly wind speed data from the NCEP-CFSR climate reanalysis model from 2000-2010 is used, with a spatial resolution of 0.5 degrees x 0.5 degrees. The solar radiation data are hourly values taken from PV-GIS, which are based on data from the Climate Monitoring Satellite Application Facility from 2008-2013 with a spatial resolution of 1.5 arc minutes. The spatial and temporal resolution can be adapted as required.

The model complements the UK TIMES energy system model. The temporal resolution of UK TIMES is too low to fully understand the implications of high levels of renewables.  highRES can be run iteratively with UK TIMES to identify more robust low-carbon electricity systems for the future.

Model summary

Model name highRES - spatially and temporally high Resolution Electricity Model
Type: Electricity dispatch model
Purpose: Analysing the integration of renewables into the UK electricity generation system
Spatial scale: Dependent on the research question (from grid cells of 0.5 x 0.5 degrees to regions based on transmission line segments)
Temporal scale: Hourly, although this can be changed depending on the research question
Main contact: Marianne Zeyringer
 Other contacts:
James Price


Documentation will appear here when it is published.


Conference Papers

Zeyringer, M., Daly, H., et al. (2014). 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 (IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria).

Projects developing/using the model (include links)

The model development and application is supported by the wholeSEM project