Designing 100% renewable energy systems

Abstract

To reduce climate change and air pollution we need to reduce atmospheric emissions from energy use and supply. In rich countries like the UK we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to near zero as fast as possible. Fossil fuel cannot be used on any scale, even with carbon sequestration. Nuclear power is costly and insecure. Renewables, particularly wind and solar, are low impact energy sources whose resources are huge and whose costs are tumbling. The problem is that energy demands vary temporally with social patterns and weather, and wind and solar vary from hour to hour with meteorology, and both demands and renewables vary spatially. The challenge is to design 100% renewable systems that reliably match demand and renewables in time and space using energy storage of different kinds and transmission. The talk will describe the issues involved, and data and methods used to design renewable systems at continental, national and city scales.

Biography

Mark is a Professor of energy and environmental systems modelling at the UCL Energy Institute, and company director. He has a BSc in Physics and Philosophy and a PhD in Energy Modelling. He has forty years’ experience of modelling energy and transport systems and atmospheric emissions. He has developed a number of national scale models of energy demand in the stationary and transport (land, sea and air) sectors, and conventional and renewable supply, and used these to design low cost systems to enhance energy security and reduce emissions. He has also developed detailed electricity models of demand, supply, emissions and costs, both for national systems and for international trade. These models have been applied at international and local level in Europe and Asia working with a range of national and local government agencies, private companies and consultancies, and non-governmental and environmental organisations. His models have been commercialised and used by the UK electricity industry. His current focus is spatiotemporal modelling of energy demand and supply from city to European scale.