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Title: The externalities in electricity generation
Author: Connor, Gary
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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Externalities exist where costs or benefits are unaccounted for in the market price of a commodity. The market price of electricity in a privatised Electricity Supply Industry such as the UK normally reflects the short term costs associated with producing electricity, rather than the longer term external effects of diversity, sustainability and the environment. UK Government recognition of these externalities has resulted in legislation, economic measures such as taxes and schemes to encourage technologies with perceived lower external cost or added external benefit such as Renewable Energy. This thesis examines the factors constituting externalities within the major electricity producing fuel cycles. Further it is shown that externalities may be specifically quantified at a local level in order to produce optimal welfare distribution. The wind energy fuel cycle is shown to be a prime example of an electricity production method entailing unmeasured externalities. Specific analysis of electricity production from wind is used to develop a computer model, ExWind. ExWind enables the quantification of the associated project externalities which when evaluated together with all other cost and benefit factors provides the optimal project design. Field studies making use of the Ex Wind methodology on existing and planned windfarm sites produce location specific monetary valuations for externalities. These results are in good agreement with previous qualitative studies of windfarm externalities. The genetic wind project optimisation in Ex Wind efficiently yields windfarm layouts significantly better than those designed by humans, while additionally producing optimal welfare distribution.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available