Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

Networks & Systems

Grid Balancing

Future energy scenarios often use annual figures, for example, illustrating how a predicted annual demand, in terawatt-hours, may be met by a matching number of terawatt-hours of annual generation, which may include wind, solar and other low-carbon sources. The challenge of course is that the timing of these intermittent renewables, and indeed of other inflexible generation technologies, will not match with the timing of demand. The extent, duration and occurrence of this mismatch is complex, not easily predicted and critical to viability of such scenarios.

To quantify and characterise this grid balancing challenge and to investigate its mitigation, we have developed national grid balancing models with high temporal resolution. We typically use hourly data and study a whole year’s operation in each run. Our modelling uses measured wind, solar and temperature data, duly correlated with historic demand and future projected demands such as electric vehicles and heat pumps.

Examples of our publications in this area include:

Barton, J, Huang, S, Infield, D, Leach, M, Ogunkunle, D, Torriti, J, Thomson, M (2012) The evolution of electricity demand and the role for demand side participation, in buildings and transportEnergy Policy, 52, pp.85-102, DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.08.040. Available here: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/11762

McKenna, EJ, Grunewald, P, Thomson, M (2014) Going with the wind: temporal characteristics of potential wind curtailment in Ireland in 2020 and opportunities for demand response, IET Renewable Power Generation, Accepted subject to corrections. Available here: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/13302