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I’m coming home (to charge): the relation between commuting practices and peak energy demand in the UK

Ramirez-Mendiola, J. L. ORCID:, Mattioli, G., Anable, J. and Torriti, J. ORCID: (2022) I’m coming home (to charge): the relation between commuting practices and peak energy demand in the UK. Energy Research & Social Science, 88. 102502. ISSN 2214-6296

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2022.102502


Decarbonisation plans largely rely on the electrification of energy-intensive sectors such as transport, which has raised both concerns and hopes about the implications for (peak) electricity demand. Particularly so when it comes to the potential impact that private EV charging might have on residential demand patterns. On the one hand, the more pessimistic view suggests that this could substantially increase the demand experienced during peak periods, exacerbating the problems associated with such peaks. On the other hand, the more optimistic view suggests that mass uptake of EVs could offer the opportunity to integrate them as distributed storage units. There is evidence of the fact that synchronisation of practices associated with the use of energy-intensive devices is largely to blame for the occurrence of large peaks in demand; the question of whether this is likely to be the case for EV charging as well remains. This paper adds to the literature on the analysis of the synchronisation of energy-related practices with an in-depth analysis commuting behaviour, using driver commuters as a case study. Cluster analysis is used to identify those commuters with distinctive commuting schedules, and socio-demographic profiling of clusters is carried out with a view to identifying any meaningful correlations that could help target policy interventions. Three characteristic commuting patterns were identified, with clearly distinguishable features in terms of the timing of commuting trips. The analysis of the energy-relevant activities shows that arrival times have a noticeable impact on the scheduling and distribution of periods of engagement in such activities.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Energy and Environmental Engineering group
ID Code:102521
Uncontrolled Keywords:Socio-temporal rhythms; Commuting patterns; Residential Electricity Demand; Demand Flexibility


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