Whole System Impacts and Socio-economics of wide scale PV integration (WISE PV)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Abstract

This project is associated with the EPSRC Solar Energy Hub. It sets out the scientific, technical and socio-economic grand challenge of wide scale integration of photovoltaic systems (PV) into electric power systems with particular focus on the UK. This challenge is interdisciplinary and the research required to address it requires a range of interdisciplinary skills. The academic team comprises internationally recognised experts in electrical power systems, social sciences, environmental and techno-economic assessment, PV materials and devices from the Universities of Manchester, Sheffield, Loughborough and Oxford Brookes.
Solar PV plays a modest role in the UK Pathways to 2050 articulated by DECC. Although the Government's feed-in tariff programme has led to a total PV installed capacity (for up to 50kW installations) exceeding 1.2GW, equivalent to 1.6% of the total installed generation capacity in Great Britain, its current trend falls short from the DECC trajectories. To enhance the role of PV this research examines the UK electricity system of 2050, including generation sources and networks, in which solar PV is assumed to play a significant role. It aims to investigate the drivers and opportunities to facilitate an increase in the role of solar energy in the UK energy futures. It will develop a range of future energy scenarios out to 2050. The energy scenarios will be informed and driven by PV stakeholders' (customers, developers, policy advisors, material scientists) perceptions and perspectives of solar PV as a serious player in energy supply in the UK. The proposal also has a wider interest in solar PV on a global scale with particular focus on the role that UK industry could play in providing innovative PV technologies to lead global uptake of solar PV. In the move to decarbonise electricity supply globally, it is likely that more and more reliance will have to be placed on renewable energy sources, with solar PV playing a major role. Harnessing this ubiquitous resource in a manner that ensures it delivers carbon savings in a cost-effective and efficient manner remains one of the key challenges to its widespread adoption as a serious contender in global energy supply.
This project will evaluate with key stakeholders their vision of the "PV future", and via the construction of potential future PV scenarios, will result in a comparative analysis of the impacts and benefits of these futures, taking into account:
(i) The greenhouse gas savings and wider environmental impacts of the PV implementation
(ii) Life cycle assessment of costs of implementation from the perspective of different stakeholders such as utilities, government, users
(iii) The infrastructure and energy systems implications of implementation
(iv) The socio-economic impacts of implementation, including on fuel poverty, job creation etc
We propose the investigation and articulation of the changes in power system design and operation to accommodate wide scale penetration of PV.
This project aims to maximize the contribution of PV to UK renewable energy and carbon reduction targets by strategically assessing the systems level challenges that are encountered with adventurous levels of PV penetration in the UK energy system. The expertise of the group will evaluate the challenges: (i) for the electrical system (ii) for material/resource availability (iii) of cost reduction (iv) of maximizing life-cycle carbon reductions (v) of delivering social benefits
The work will therefore go beyond the idea of optimizing to make solar energy more cost competitive; considering instead the whole-life cycle sustainability (economic, environmental and social) of different PV options, how they could be accommodated in the evolving UK energy system and identifying relevant barriers and obstacles at an early stage. This requires engagement with scientists in the hub, DNO's, regulators and manufacturers, but also with existing and potential PV users.

Planned Impact

The WISE PV RESNET project has been designed to explore the wide scale integration of PV systems into the UK electricity networks, synthesizing in a holistic way the costs and benefits of possible PV scenarios from a system perspective including technical, environmental, economic and social aspects. In addition, there are a number of potential routes via which the "PV contribution" could be realised, depending on evolving policy, market, technical, and societal landscapes. Thus, informed and effective decision making is vitally important in developing a low carbon future that optimises the contribution of PV properly taking into account benefits and impacts. Providing methods that help the integration of low carbon electricity generation will provide a wide public benefit, helping to achieve challenging climate change objectives. A reliable, low carbon electricity supply underpins GB's economic and social well being, from the provision of basic heating and lighting to powering transport systems, manufacturing capability and the delivery of essential services such as health, safety and security. One of the core objectives of the research programme is to identify major barriers or concerns that would prevent sustainable large scale deployment, and develop scientific, engineering and policy responses to those concerns to guide future PV development. This will involve overcoming major engineering as well as scientific challenges and will have a significant impact on future large scale deployment of PV. This benefits the economy in two ways, firstly through the potential for increasing deployment of PV in domestic markets and secondly by supporting the productivity of the GB economy by the provision of a reliable and predictable electricity supply. The project has been designed in collaboration with research beneficiaries including National Grid, Electricity NorthWest and Scottish Power. We will be seeking input from these, and other organisations, to ensure we maximise our impact and have allocated £2.5k to support this activity. The development and characterisation of scenarios of future PV deployment will be undertaken in collaboration with stakeholders; co-producing knowledge to inform recommendations on institutional responses. In addition to involving end-users in the research itself, the project will maintain a website detailing the objectives and outputs of the project; publish a report based on the findings of each work package for wide dissemination and organise public lectures and conduct dissemination seminars during the research program. We shall maximise impact through mobilising the Tyndall Centre stakeholder network to disseminate outcomes to a wide array of scientists, policy makers and practitioners and work with the Solar Hub to engage with the wider PV industry. Given the new understanding and tools that the WISE PV project will provide, our collaborating organisations will be in an unprecedented position to understand the wide-scale integration of PV within electricity networks. Many UK utility owners and consultancies have major international businesses, so the work has the potential to contribute to their competitiveness overseas.

Publications

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Alnaser S (2016) Optimal Sizing and Control of Energy Storage in Wind Power-Rich Distribution Networks in IEEE Transactions on Power Systems

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Azzopardi B (2016) Future development promise for plastic-based solar electricity Future promise for plastic-based solar electricity in Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications

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Matulaitis V (2016) Multi-criteria decision making for PV deployment on a multinational level in Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells

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Procopiou A (2017) Voltage Control in PV-Rich LV Networks Without Remote Monitoring in IEEE Transactions on Power Systems

 
Title Nil 
Description Nil 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Nil 
 
Description 1. Impact of wide scale deployment of PV in the UK can be accommodated with little impact on distribution systems investment
2. Impact of PV (and other variable renewable output energy sources such as wind) on system reliability deserves greater attention. Greater attention needs to be paid to demand response and energy storage to enhance the contribution of PV to reliability and security of supply.
3. Market mechanisms must be developed that will enable other value adding services to be provided by PV (voltage support, arbitrage, congestions management etc) transmission systems operation
4. Further work is required to develop a fully integrated GB level model incorporating transmission and distribution systems across different regions of the UK. This is a complex task.
5. Widespread deployment of PV will require further technology developments to improve efficiencies as well as reliability of PV arrange through use of micron inverters.
6. It is important to undertake full life cycle assessment including consequential LCA to obtain a comprehensive understanding of full impact of wide scale us of PV.
Exploitation Route 1. The tools and methodologies developed can used by other researchers and industry to conduct their own studies or a basis for development of the tools, techniques and methodologies
2. Policy makers can be better directed towards development policies supportive to development deployment of PV in the UK while informing other countries world wide
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Energy,Environment

URL http://www.energy.manchester.ac.uk/research/solar/wise-pv-project/publications/
 
Description 1. The findings have been shared with Ofgem, National Grid and some distribution network operators such as Electricity North West as well as PV practitioners and other stakeholder organisations. 2. It is fully expected that the outputs will continue to inform future policy on PV from a regulatory perspective as will as practice within network companies as they deal with integration of PV into electric power systems. 3. For example the finding that PV integration has little impact on distribution network investment has been able to unlock opportunities for further deployment of PV 4. The need to consider ways to enhance value of PV to the systems is spawning further work and discussion within the industry.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Energy
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Policy on solar
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Influenced uptake of solar PV and feed in tariff development
 
Description EPSRC Grand challenge
Amount £1,139,181 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K022229/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2013 
End 03/2017
 
Description HubNet
Amount £300,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 08/2019
 
Description UK - India
Amount £5,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P003605/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2019
 
Title Consequential LCA of large-scale PV penetration in the UK 
Description The UK grid has potential for large-scale PV deployment. A prospective consequential life cycle assessment approach is proposed here to investigate the whole-system impacts of a set of future national electricity generation scenarios in which high levels of PV are expected to be achieved by 2035. The scenarios are based on either user-led or network-led deployment schemes (respectively entailing predominantly small-scale battery or large-scale CAES energy storage), and on varying amounts of non-PV renewable and conventional electricity generation technologies in the mix. The assessment is envisaged to be structured in three stages, namely: (1) PV systems life-cycles, (2) changes to electricity network infrastructure, and (3) ensuing changes to overall UK electric power flows. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Impact not yet full assessed but expect other researchers to use the developed methodology 
URL https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268212242_Towards_a_prospective_consequential_LCA_of_large-...
 
Title Multi-criteria decision making for PV deployment on a multinational level 
Description Decision making for Photovoltaic (PV) systems has been historically based on economics, while current and emerging global environmental concerns are emphasizing the importance of addressing environmental criteria as well. In addition, other criteria (e.g., social) has to be taken into consideration when analyzing the PV market at the international level, particularly due to the diverse financial support policies that may be in place at this level. In the light of this, this paper presents a multi-criteria methodology to evaluate the impact of different financial support policies on the economic attractiveness of domestic PV systems from an international perspective. In order to reasonably model the complex political influences on the PV support policies and the performance of the aforementioned policies since their implementation, historical records on PV market trends in different countries are assessed in this work and are used for this study. Political influences on such policies are directly reflected by the installed PV cumulative power records. The multi-criteria analysis highlights the policies that have the most potential to encourage investments in PV systems and may facilitate sufficient investment in different countries to meet their specific environmental targets. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Paper presented at the 29th European Photovoltaic Specialists Energy Conference (EU PVSEC), Amsterdam, 2014. (7AV.6.73). 2014. http://www.eupvsec-planner.com/. Impact has yet to be fully established. 
URL http://www.eupvsec-planner.com/presentations/c27669/multi-criteria_decision_making_for_pv_deployment...
 
Title UK future energy scenarios 
Description Set of alternative scenarios for future large-scale PV deployment out to 2035. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact More realistic scenarios have been used within the project to assess the impact of solar PV on transmission of distribution system operation and investment costs as well as life cycle assessment of solar PV deployment. 
 
Description WISE PV partner 
Organisation Loughborough University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Load models and Bayesian modelling techniques and analysis of uncertainty
Collaborator Contribution 1. Probabilistic Evaluation of UK Domestic Solar Photovoltaic Systems Using Bayesian Networks: A Discounted Cash Flow Assessment. 2. Probabilistic Analysis of Solar PV self-consumption using Bayesian Network Models, IET Renewable Power Generation.
Impact 1.Philip A. Leicester, Chris Goodier and Paul Rowley (2015), Probabilistic Evaluation of UK Domestic Solar Photovoltaic Systems Using Bayesian Networks: A Discounted Cash Flow Assessment. Progress in Photovoltaics: research and applications. 1. Philip A. Leicester, Chris Goodier and Paul Rowley (2015), Probabilistic Analysis of Solar PV self-consumption using Bayesian Network Models, IET Renewable Power Generation.
Start Year 2013
 
Description WISE PV partner 
Organisation Oxford Brookes University
Department Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Life cycle analysis of solar PV systems
Collaborator Contribution 1. life cycle assessment and net energy analysis of large-scale PV deployment in the UK 2. A comprehensive assessment of the energy performance of the full range of electricity generation technologies deployed in the United Kingdom, Energy Policy
Impact [2] Raugei M., Leccisi E., Jones C. WISE-PV: life cycle assessment and net energy analysis of large-scale PV deployment in the UK, SuNEC 2015 Conference, Sicily, Sept 2015 [3] Marco Raugei and Enrica Leccisi, (2016), A comprehensive assessment of the energy performance of the full range of electricity generation technologies deployed in the United Kingdom, Energy Policy, 46-59
Start Year 2013
 
Description WISE PV partner 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Department School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Investigation of the physical reliability of PV systems in the UK using a combination of approaches.
Collaborator Contribution The performance and degradation of the UK PV fleet has been measured. Mechanisms of degradation in crystalline Si have been studied. Failure mode effects analysis investigated the estimated mean time to failure for micro-inverters.
Impact [1] Jamie Taylor et al. Performance of Distributed PV in the UK: A Statistical Analysis of Over 7000 Systems. CONFERENCE PAPER · 31st European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition SEPTEMBER 2015. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2019.6568 [2] Jamie Taylor et al. Monitoring thousands of distributed PV systems in the UK: Energy production and performance. CONFERENCE PAPER · PVSAT-11. APRIL 2015 DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2015.1846. [3] Giuseppe Colantuono et al. Monitoring nationwide ensembles of PV generators: limitations and uncertainties. The case of the UK. Solar Energy. Vol 108. pp252-263. [4] Quantifying PV fleet output variability in the UK: Consequences for Distribution Network Operators, Jamie Taylor, Jonathan Leloux, Aldous M. Everard, Julian Briggs, Alastair Buckley. PVSAT-11 (2015) [5] Simon Leonard et al. Molybdenum nano-precipitates in silicon. A TEM and DLTS study. Phys. Stat. Sol. B. Vol. 251 No 11. pp2201-2204. [6] Paper at 42nd IEEE Photovoltaic specialists conference, June 14-19, 2015. (tbc) [7] Firas Obeidat and Roger Shuttleworth. Reliability prediction of PV inverters based on MIL-HDBK-217F N2. 42nd IEEE Photovoltaic specialists conference, June 14-19, 2015.
Start Year 2013
 
Title Software models 
Description Several models for PV systems analysis 
IP Reference  
Protection Protection not required
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact System planning and oepration
 
Title Nil 
Description Nil 
Type Therapeutic Intervention - Surgery
Current Stage Of Development Initial development
Year Development Stage Completed 2016
Development Status Closed
Impact Nil 
 
Title Unit Commitment software 
Description Unified Unit Commitment Formulation and Fast Multi-Service LP Model for Flexibility Evaluation in Sustainable Power Systems 
Type Of Technology Grid Application 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Still under assessment 
 
Description Set of alternative scenarios for future large-scale PV deployment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The presentation was made at a Stakeholder workshop on scenarios In July 2014; "UK Solar PV Scenarios - Dealing with Geographic Sensitivities and Distributed Power Generation".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Solar Hub 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Solar Hub meetings and workshops
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
 
Description WISE PV Final Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The purpose of the workshop was to present the findings of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funded WISE PV project, and explore implications.
The event was attended by about 20 people and included policy makers, network operators and practitioners. Key messages included the following:
1. The project presents evidence that PV can be delivered in ways that have a positive impact on the system. There needs to be recognition that it is not the only low carbon technology, and that it does contribute to the challenges that are created as we transition towards low carbon energy system.
2. Energy needs to be considered in the widest sense including decarbonisation of heat and transport. From an electricity network perspective, the interactions between electric vehicles, heat pumps and PV need to be considered, although WISE PV results suggest that are few issues on local networks from PV in isolation, as opposed to a broader system change.
3. Solar PV at significant levels of deployment can be accommodated on the system, though it will need to be coupled with enabling technologies to support the system, including energy storage and demand side response.
Feedback from the workshop resulted in further work to better quantify the benefits and impacts of Solar PV on system operating and investments costs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description WISE PV Kick off workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The event was held in London on 11th April 2014. The aim of the workshop was to bring together expert stakeholder perspectives on PV grid integration in the future. Outputs will form the basis for life cycle assessment of environmental impacts and costs, power systems implications and socio-economic impacts of ambitiously high levels of PV in the UK. It was attended by by about 25 people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Whole System Evaluation of Ambitious Levels of PV 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The presentation on Whole System Evaluation of Ambitious Levels of PV was made at the PV SAT conference in June 2014. This was an opportunity to share methodologies and obtain peer feedback.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014