Jose Luis Ramirez-Mendiola, Timor Yunusov, Jacopo Torriti
The ongoing decarbonisation of electricity generation prompts questions around ways to reduce expensive demand peaks and increasing flexibility. Some of those questions are in relation to the development of more cost-effective tariff structures that enable an equitable recovery of costs. Reforming the current tariff structure, however, involves resolving issues around how much should be paid for both variable and fixed components of the bill. As regards to the latter, the concept of core capacity refers to the amount of power capacity that enables consumers to realise basic capabilities and therefore cannot be readily flexed. Setting a capacity core (or cores) links into issues around defining adequate levels of service provision, as well as the timing of energy services and sufficiency under different circumstances. Identifying the set of core capacities across the residential consumer base is key to assessing the potential of this sector to provide additional system flexibility.
In this paper, we set out to investigate how the capacity required to meet the demand associated with the attainment of valued capabilities varies across the different segments of the residential consumer population. We explore the diversity of power capacity requirements with a view to identifying the bounds that define the core levels of access to power provision. Our empirical analysis shows that these vary widely across the residential consumer base, ranging from about 2 kW for low-income households, to 7 kW for those largely relying on conventional electric heating systems to maintain adequate levels of thermal comfort during winter.
Ramirez-Mendiola, J., Yunusov, T. and Torriti, J. 2021. From capabilities to capacity: Examining core power capacity requirements in the UK residential sector under the capabilities frameworkOpens in a new tab. In: Proceedings of eceee 2021 Summer Study on energy efficiency: a new reality? Conference paper 1-097-21. Online, 7–11 June 2021.
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