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Integration of Variable Renewable Generation into Electricity Systems

Edmunds, Raymond Keith (2015) Integration of Variable Renewable Generation into Electricity Systems. Integrated PhD and Master thesis, University of Leeds.

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Final Thesis - R.K. Edmunds.pdf - Final eThesis - complete (pdf)
Restricted until 1 December 2020.


Achieving the emission reductions that scientists recommend will require the deployment of technologies, such as wind turbines and solar photovoltaics, which have fundamentally different characteristics to the fossil fuel generators that have contributed to the growth and prosperity enjoyed throughout the industrialised world. This research has centred on developing a greater understanding of the technical and economic challenges of increasing variable renewable penetration in electricity systems. Following a review of the literature, three important topics for research are identified and analysed. Initially, the EnergyPLAN tool is used to quantify the benefits of increasing energy storage and interconnection capacity in future British power systems. The findings conclude that increasing the interconnection and storage capacity allows for an increase in the maximum technically feasible wind penetration, this permitting a reduction in system emission intensity. Subsequently, the operational requirements for thermal plants in future power systems are investigated using the PLEXOS Integrated Energy Model. In the scenarios considered, the utilisation of gas plants is relatively low but remains fundamental to security of supply. The findings have important implications for energy policy as government intervention may be required to prevent early decommissioning of gas capacity, should the prevailing market conditions not guarantee revenue adequacy. Finally, using the PLEXOS Integrated Energy Model, a capacity expansion model is developed to understand the long term price implications in systems constrained by emission reduction and system security targets. As the long run costs increase at a greater rate than the short run costs, revenues from the energy market are increasingly insufficient for firm generation capacity to recover costs. The insights highlight the importance of designing power markets that provide incentives to satisfy both emission reduction targets and security constraints, in systems with increasing variable renewable generation.

Item Type: Thesis (Integrated PhD and Master)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Chemical and Process Engineering (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mr R. K. Edmunds
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 10:44
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2016 12:57
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10499

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