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Title: Renewable electricity generation: resource characteristics and implications of wind, wave and tidal stream power in the UK
Author: Sinden, Graham
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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The development of renewable electricity generating capacity as a low-carbon alternative to conventional forms of electricity generation has raised questions regarding the integration and security of supply implications of renewables. The variability of renewable resources is critical in assessing their impact on electricity networks. This research seeks to characterise the power output properties of wind, wave and tidal stream resources in the UK, and examine the impact of a diversified portfolio of renewable electricity generation on aspects of network integration. Long-term datasets were used to model potential hourly electricity production from a wide range of sites in the UK. Patterns of power production differ between the three renewable resources: wave power showed the least hourly power output variability (2.4 %); wind was more variable (3.2%) while the tidal stream resource showed very large changes in output (6% to 22%). Wind and wave power availability shows a weak, positive correlation to electricity demand, while the availability of the tidal stream resource is uncorrelated to demand. This research examined the scope for renewable resource development on constrained transmission networks, exploiting differences in patterns of resource availability to improve transmission utilisation while minimising energy spillage. The development-variability envelope is proposed as a method of conceptualising the development of resources to achieve low electricity supply variability by demonstrating the link between power output patterns and development limitations for the tidal stream resource. Finally, the thesis examines the integration of renewable electricity into electricity networks from the perspective of capacity credit and balancing costs. Renewable energy scenarios can have a large effect on these parameters, and an optimised mix of wind, wave and tidal stream resources is proposed that results in a 67% reduction in balancing costs, and a 20% increase in capacity credit, in comparison to a wind-only scenario for renewable electricity generation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available