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Title: Matching renewable electricity supply to electricity demand in Scotland
Author: Commin, Andrew Neil
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 5765
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen and University of the Highlands and Islands
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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The threat of climate change has led to many countries and regions adopting renewable targets. Scotland's is one of the most ambitious, with an aim to generate the equivalent to 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020. Scotland has a very large renewable resource, primarily consisting of offshore and onshore wind, tidal stream, wave and hydro power; all of which are characterised by having variable output. Over a long period, such as a year, variability in renewable generation will average out and may meet or exceed total annual demand. This thesis investigates whether matching of demand and generation is possible within a timescale meaningful to electricity system users; that is whether renewable generation can meet electricity demand in any given hour. This was established by using historic data to create an hourly generation hindcast of Scotland's renewable generation over a 30 year climate “normal” period. These outputs are then compared to a hindcast of hourly demand based on observations over the most recent few years. The results demonstrated that it is possible for Scotland to rely entirely upon renewable generation to fulfil demand in any hour of the 30 year hindcast. However, it appears that the renewable capacity and storage currently built or within the Scottish planning system is only sufficient to match demand in 65% of the hours within the hindcast. The hindcast allows judgements to be made as to how 100% of demand could be met most effectively and provides the basis of a coherent planning strategy, with security of supply at its centre. Further wave and tidal stream capacity is shown to be of higher value than additional wind power but in the latter case, addressing the geographical diversity of wind power can enable maximise phasing between sites to increase the security of supply. Importantly this work provides a means of informing decision making about where best to develop wind, wave and tidal resources and what additional storage may be required in order to provide 100% security of supply. The results are also of particular importance to Scotland's renewable generation strategy in the case of assessing where new on- and off-shore wind farms should be developed, as wind is set to dominate Scotland's renewable portfolio for the foreseeable future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Electrific power distribution ; Electric power production ; Renewable energy sources