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Title: Value of flexible demand-side technologies in future low-carbon systems
Author: Aunedi, Marko
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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Decarbonisation of energy supply in future low-carbon systems is expected to entail two key components: a rapid increase in the capacity of intermittent renewable generation and other low-carbon sources, and the electrification of heat and transport demand, i.e. large-scale deployment of electric vehicles and heat pumps. Both of these components are expected to impose a significant demand for additional flexibility, particularly for ancillary services associated with system balancing, while leading to additional system costs due to the degradation in generation and network infrastructure utilisation, reduced efficiency of real-time operation, and the need for network reinforcement. In this thesis a computationally efficient annual generation scheduling algorithm is developed to assess the economic and environmental performance of low-carbon systems characterised by a high penetration of intermittent renewable capacity. The algorithm performs a simultaneous optimisation of electricity generation and the provision of ancillary services such as operating reserve and frequency response. The results of applying the model to future GB system with high wind penetration indicate that the cost of wind integration in may be very high, particularly in cases when there is less flexibility available from conventional generators. The thesis proceeds to develop methodological approaches to establish system benefits that could be achieved by deploying a range of Flexible Demand (FD) technologies – Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, electric vehicles, residential heat pumps or smart domestic appliances – which are all capable of altering their baseline electricity consumption profile in order to improve system operation. Detailed bottom-up models developed in the thesis characterise the behaviour patterns of FD users, establishing a link between the useful service provided by flexible devices and the resulting electricity demand pattern, while also ensuring the level of service expected by the users is not compromised as a result FD participation. A broad range of potential applications of FD has been analysed in the thesis towards a more efficient performance of future electricity systems. Key system-level benefits of deploying FD include the improved long-term system security, more efficient system balancing and ancillary services, and improved utilisation of generation and network capacity. The results suggest that system-level benefits of FD can be substantial, particularly in systems with scarce operational flexibility, such as those based on very high contribution of intermittent renewable electricity, and those accommodating a significant share of electrified transport and heating demand.
Supervisor: Strbac, Goran Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available