PLATFORM GRANT RENEWAL - ELECTRICAL ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE TO 2050

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Eng

Abstract

This proposal for renewal of a Platform Grant is based on the recognition that major changes in the UK energy infrastructure are needed to meet the energy policy goals of Sustainability, Security, Competitiveness and the elimination of Fuel Poverty. Our vision for the Platform Grant renewal reflects these changes and the need for more radical approaches in energy research. We wish to use the renewed Platform Grant to investigate the energy infrastructure that the UK will need out to 2050 and beyond. This will include technical aspects of gas and electricity infrastructure but also regulatory pathways that will support the policy goals. We would intend to use the Platform Grant resources to allow speculative research to be undertaken in preparation of major project funding bids, to develop further tools for the analysis of energy systems and to support research staff during short term gaps in funding. We particularly value the flexibility of the Platform Grant for developing the careers of younger research staff and would intend to continue to encourage researchers, at a suitable stage in their careers, to apply for permanent posts in UK universities and industry. The initial Platform Grant was, in our view, extremely successful with 3 of the RAs supported now permanent lecturers in UK universities and a significant contribution made to the understanding of how Distributed Generation could be integrated into the UK power system. Additional funding in excess of 7.5M was held by the Investigators during the period of the Platform Grant. 21 papers were published in the IEE Proceedings and the IEEE Transactions during this period and 7 major reports were submitted to DTI and OFGEM. Within the UK, the future architecture of the energy infrastructure is the subject of vibrant debate. The routes to implementation of this architecture are even more uncertain. Options range from fully distributed micro-generation to the integration of very large scale (GW) renewable or other low-carbon generation technologies including nuclear. Presently there are a number of research initiatives addressing micro generation and the Investigators contribute to a number of these projects. Therefore the initial research focus of the renewed Platform Grant will be on electricity and gas transmission systems although the flexibility of the Platform Grant will be utilized to remain responsive to changes in energy policy. We are, of course aware of the obvious desirability of reducing demand through demand reduction but consider the difficulty of substituting fossil fuels in transport to be so great that a large increase in electricity supply and transportation capacity may be necessary to supply stationary loads if the use of fossil fuels is reserved for transport.The Platform Grant resources will be used to allow speculative research to be undertaken in preparation of major project funding bids, to develop tools for the analysis of energy systems and to support research staff during short term gaps in funding. A series of exchanges of research staff between Imperial College and Manchester is planned. The flexibility of the Platform Grant will be used to support the career development of research staff including allowing them time to widen their research interests, to learn new techniques and engage with the rapidly changing energy research scene.

Publications

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Castro M (2011) Reliability-driven transmission investment in systems with wind generation in IET Generation, Transmission & Distribution

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Gomis-Bellmunt O (2011) Topologies of multiterminal HVDC-VSC transmission for large offshore wind farms in Electric Power Systems Research

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Pudjianto D (2008) Microgrids and virtual power plants: Concepts to support the integration of distributed energy resources in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/E017444/1 24/09/2007 30/06/2008 £571,218
EP/E017444/2 Transfer EP/E017444/1 01/07/2008 30/09/2011 £471,226