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The impact of climate variability and climate change on the GB power system

Bloomfield, H. C. (2017) The impact of climate variability and climate change on the GB power system. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Recent trends in global energy systems have seen a rapid uptake in renewable generation, however, few studies have investigated the impacts of inter-annual climate variability and climate change on power system operation. This thesis aims to explore these impacts for the GB power system. Multi-decadal re-analysis and climate model datasets are used to create demand and wind power time-series as inputs for a load duration curve based power system assessment. Using the MERRA reanalysis, it was found that all aspects of the GB power system are impacted by inter-annual climate variability, but the impacts are most pronounced for baseload generation. The impacts of climate variability are amplified by increasing onshore wind power capacity, and decreased by increasing offshore wind power capacity. The GB power system model is most sensitive to winter weather. A system with no installed wind power capacity is driven by inter-annual variability in temperatures. As the amount of installed wind power capacity is increased, the power system becomes increasingly sensitive to variability in winds. It was found that more than 10 years of climate data are required to adequately sample the impacts of inter-annual variability of climate on the power system. In the HiGEM 4XCO2 climate scenario, mean winter demand reduces (-6%) while mean summer demand increases (+5%) primarily due to warmer temperatures. These changes result in a reduction in the use of conventional generation (-30%) and peak load (-6%). Furthermore, suggesting that climate change may somewhat counteract the increases in inter-annual power system variability which would otherwise be associated with increasing installed wind power capacity.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Brayshaw, D., Shaffrey, L., Coker, P. and Thornton, H.
Thesis/Report Department:Department of Meteorology
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:74009

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