Resilient Electricity Networks for Great Britain (RESNET)
The Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council have funded the Resilient Electricity Networks for Great Britain (RESNET) project to address the challanges of resilience of the UK's electricity energy network and concurrent challenges. RESNET will develop and demonstrate a comprehensive systems-level approach to analysing, at the Great Britain scale, the resilience of the existing and future electricity networks. It will develop, test and refine tools for evaluating adaptation measures designed to enhance the resilience of the energy network.
The project will run from September 2011-August 2015 and examines the resilience of the UK electricity network. It will specifically look at the impacts of climate change on decarbonised grids.
The resilience of the UK's electricity energy network
The resilience of the UK's electricity energy network is being challenged on three fronts:
- Policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions will alter substantially the existing mix of electricity generation;
- Decarbonisation of the 'energy' system will be likely to involve considerable shift of previously non-electric energy demand onto the electricity network;
- Not only will the expected mean changes in climate alter electricity demand and the performance of the electricity infrastructure, but increased severity and frequency of extreme weather events will impact on the electrical network and distribution systems.
Tyndall Manchester on the resilience of the UK electricity network
The impacts of climate change on decarbonised grids
The aim of the RESNET project is to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive approach to analyse, at a national scale, climate-related changes in the reliability of the UK's electricity system, and to develop tools for quantifying the value of adaptations that would enhance its resilience.
The programme of research will comprise five discrete work packages each with specific and well defined deliverables:-
- WP1: Spatial scenarios of future climate. WP1 will produce future climate scenarios for three key weather variables where changes in average characteristics can impact on the operational resilience of the network and changes in extremes can impact the infrastructural resilience of the network: temperature, rainfall and wind.
- WP2: Electricity demand and supply scenarios. WP2 will develop electricity demand and supply scenarios, consistent both with the climate change impacts scenarios from WP1 and levels of decarbonisation required to meet policy targets.
- WP3: Network performance analysis. WP3 will couple the hazard model from WP1 with demand and supply scenarios from WP2 with a dynamic, spatially explicit, power systems simulation model.
- WP4: Quantified analysis of resilience and the effectiveness of adaptation. WP4 will use the model to quantify the potential impacts of future climate upon the day to day resilience and resilience to extreme events of the overall GB electricity transmission system and case study distribution networks, and to test the effectiveness of a wide range of adaptation options for improving the overall resilience of the energy system.
- WP5: Social responses to adaptation measures. WP5 will assess the impact of the future vulnerability of the network upon organisations and households, taking into account climate change impacts, and consider how these may adapt.
The Adaptation and Resilience to a Changing Climate Coordination Network (ARCC CN) exists to enhance the cooperative development and dissemination of research between and beyond the portfolio of EPSRC-funded research projects exploring the impacts and adaptation in a changing climate within the built environment and infrastructure. 18 EPSRC-funded projects, including RESNET,provide the focus, with research looking at adaptation and resilience in buildings, transport networks, water resources and energy systems. Working through coordinated activities and with the research and end-user communities, the ARCC CN provides evidence to enable the design of more resilient urban systems.