Multi-region analysis of future GB energy system

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


The UK has a legally binding emissions target of net-zero carbon by 2050. UK energy demand can be conceptualised as consisting of three sectors: electrical power, heat and transportation. A future GB net-zero energy system is likely to include a large increase in intermittent wind and solar PV capacity, a shift to CHP and electrical heating, and electric drivetrains (battery or fuel cell) displacing ICEs. The use of hydrogen as an energy vector provides a way to integrate these three energy sectors, while power to H2 pathways allow mitigation of the integration and balancing issues that increased intermittent generating capacity entails, strengthening the overall system. A number of pathways to net-zero have been suggested by organisations such as the CCC. These are developed using snapshots of typical periods or days to produce a generation and utilisation technology mix. This work investigates what these mixes mean for system operation and the enabling role hydrogen can play.
Aims and Methodology
This work aims to understand how different technology mixes work in practise by developing a GB wide 11 region model to investigate the energy flows in half hourly time steps across a year. A focus of the work is the role of hydrogen as a balancing mechanism. Generation models for wind and solar were applied to data sourced from MERRA-2 and SARAH_V002 to produce a regional model of renewable energy production with conventional generation modelled based on data from BMReports. Data from BMReports and BEIS was used to produce regional electricity demand profiles for electricity and transport which were then scaled according to future demand scenarios. Heat demand was modelled on a regional basis by regressing gas demand against temperature and includes domestic and industrial heating and cooling loads. Temperature projections from the UK Climate Projections were used to project heating demand for future scenarios. An optimisation model balances energy across the three networks within each region and across regional boundaries, or where physical network links are otherwise available.
Required energy resources, energy flows between regions, and constraints within the networks are identified in order to understand future network design. Initial results show that the use of power to H2 reduces the GHG emissions factors associated with the UK energy network by allowing more effective utilisation of intermittent renewable energy sources.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020
H2FC SUPERGEN Hydrogen Research Conference 2020
- University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Feb 202018 Feb 2020


H2FC SUPERGEN Hydrogen Research Conference 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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