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Scenarios for examination of highly distributed power systems

Jardine, C.N. and Ault, G.W. (2008) Scenarios for examination of highly distributed power systems. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, 222 (A7). pp. 643-655. ISSN 0957-6509

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Abstract

A set of three scenarios has been created in order to examine the incorporation of extensive penetrations of micro-generators into electricity networks (termed 'highly distributed power systems'). The scenarios have been created as a synthesis of the Future Network Technologies scenarios and the UK domestic carbon model, and yields energy use and carbon dioxide emissions of the UK housing stock from inputs of household numbers, house type, thermal efficiency, appliance efficiency, as well as the number and efficiency of micro-generators used. The centralized supply mix also varies between scenarios and features extensive penetrations of large-scale renewables. The scenarios illustrate the scale of change required to reduce CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, which has substantial impacts for electricity network operation. Moving from a centralized system to the one where one-third of electricity comes from distributed sources poses significant challenges including: reverse power flow on networks, load balancing, storage requirements, phase unbalance, harmonics, and ancillary services.