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Title: Modelling least-cost technology and low carbon scenarios for Northern Ireland Electricity market
Author: Kashyap, Poonam
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2013
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Northern Ireland is facing significant challenge in terms of carbon emissions reduction targets and energy security concerns over rising prices of fossil fuel. The UK Climate Change Act, 2008 requires net reduction in carbon emissions at least 80% lower than 1990 levels by 2050. Northern Ireland has set regional target to meet the national commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 25% below 1990 levels by 2025. Renewable energy particularly on-shore and off-shore wind will play an important role in the electricity generation mix in order to achieve the national and regional targets. The aim of this thesis is to generate and analyse techno-economic and low-carbon senarios that dictate the future electricity generation and fuel mix for Northern Ireland up to 2050 using TIMES model and identify challenges arising from integrating large amounts of non-dispatchable renewable energy onto an existing electricity network. The TIMES model analyses the future long-term electricity generation technology options while meeting the overall projected electricity demand based on macroeconomic indicators of gross domestic product and population growth trends - high, medium and low growth. The TIMES model utilises a bottom up optimisation approach subject to policy and implementation constraints to identify least-cost technologies and resources mix to meet the electricity demand in an integrated electricity market. The base case scenario results considers that the existing traditional fossil fuel based power plants will run up to 2050 on the same level of installed capacity. However, the additional demand will be met with by more carbon efficient generation technologies such as tidal, wind, and hydro power plants. It also predicts that there is overall drop in carbon emission levels under base case scenario as a result of steady penetration of renewable energy technologies. The NI TIMES model predicts that the exploration of shale gas in Northern Ireland provides energy security but serve a limited purpose in reducing carbon emissions by 29% in 2050 compared with 2010 levels. The modelling results provide credence to the argument that in order to achieve the 80% carbon emissions reduction, 73% share (2801 MW) of renewable energy technologies capacity is required in the Northern Ireland electricity generation portfolio. The renewable technologies for Northern Ireland electricity system will mainly comprise onshore wind, offshore wind and tidal energy in 2050 to achieve national and regional policy targets.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available