Modelling steady state performance of a local electricity distribution system under UK 2050 carbon pathway scenarios

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Walker, Sara ; Hope, Alex ; Bentley, Edward (2014)

The electricity sector worldwide is facing considerable pressure arising out of climate change issues, and security of supply. Electricity systems are also facing technical issues of bi-directional power flows, increasing distances of power flows, and a growing contribution from generation sources with limited dispatch capability. There is a concern that these systems are vulnerable.\ud \ud Transition pathways research using a multi-level perspective has identified a general picture of the drivers in future electricity systems architecture. In such futures, the vulnerability of electricity systems becomes multi-dimensional, and security becomes a more complex issue than that of supply of fossil fuels.\ud \ud The aim of this work is a critical analysis into the Government's 2050 pathway scenarios for the UK with respect to their impact locally on the electricity distribution network in a case study urban area in the North East of England. A simplified electricity network model is created to evaluate network performance under the seven pathway scenarios. The results of the study show clearly that under the 2050 assumptions for growth of electricity demand and renewables uptake, problems arise for the present day local electricity distribution system. The significance of these findings are discussed with respect to transitions and local governance.
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