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Title: Quantifying the financial and carbon emissions impacts of distributed generation from the perspective of different stakeholders
Author: Daniels, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 5337
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2016
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The evolving role of distributed generation (OG) in the electricity network is a commonly debated topic in academic, political and industrial fields. A range of benefits is noted, including the potential to support electricity demand at peak times and thereby reduce investment in other aspects of the electricity system. As market structures develop and the aggregator industry grows at a high pace, the need to quantify the impact of the increase in DG is vital. This project addresses key research objectives surrounding the various impacts of OG projects to DG owners and network operators - at transmission and distribution level. The project focused on two particular areas: the logistical and financial impacts for the DG owners and the longer term environmental impact of extended DG use for network operators, in the form of network investment deferral and avoidance. The project has focused on standby generators, rather than a number of other DG technologies, due to their prevalence globally and their current high usage level in ancillary service markets and within commercial properties across the UK and worldwide, including the M&S estate. Although often considered a quick and easy change to the network, the logistical impact and prerequisites for running DG projects for grid support has not been investigated on a broad scale. This thesis identifies the process that a company wishing to use DG equipment for grid support must go through in order to bring a project from initiation to implementation. The research has identified financial benefits of running standby generators for grid support inherent in the electricity pricing structure of up to 14p/kWh, available in some regions. However, upfront investment and time needed to implement a project can reduce project viability and increase payback periods. Network investment deferral is a well evaluated concept from a financial perspective, but this thesis shows that it is important to consider the carbon emissions from network investment and its deferral. Proxies are developed to convert financial investment in the electricity network into carbon emissions, based on an existing life cycle assessment survey of the GB electricity network. It is shown that, depending on the region, network investment can represent up to 7kgC02 per 1GBP of investment. These proxies are applied to the 2015-2023 investment planning timeframe in the GB network, RII0-ED1, to show that RIIO investment could represent 10,000tC02 in just one DNO region.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available