Electricity system flexibility needs in a low energy future

The electricity system plays a key role in enabling a low energy future. At the same time the electrification of transport and heat in buildings combined with the push for more renewables, particularly wind and solar, will introduce new requirements for flexible demand and supply.

The aim of this project is to further develop and use the high spatial and temporal resolution electricity system model (highRES; https://www.ucl.ac.uk/energy-models/models/highres) to assess the implications of lowering energy demand (and changing temporal patterns) on the cost, flexibility needs and resilience of a net-zero compatible electricity system for the UK. The low energy futures explored here will draw on the scenarios developed under the Positive Low Energy Futures project (https://low-energy.creds.ac.uk/).

HighRES models the design and hourly operation of future UK power systems, including its high voltage transmission network and interconnections to Europe. It accounts for how weather varies across the country, driving patterns of demand and supply, and ensures the systems it plans are low carbon and secure.

Outputs from this project will include resources for stakeholders such as National Grid, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and the Climate Change Committee.

Research questions:

  • What are the cost, flexibility and resilience implications of lowering energy demand for a net-zero emission UK power system?