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Heat decarbonisation modelling approaches in the UK: An energy system architecture perspective

18 March, 2020

Heat decarbonisation modelling approaches in the UK: An energy system architecture perspective

Daniel Scamman

Baltazar Solano Rodriguez

Steve Pye

Lai Fong Chiu

Andrew ZP Smith

Tiziano Gallo Cassarino

Mark Barrett

Robert Lowe

Research paper   Decarbonisation of heat

Daniel Scamman, Baltazar Solano-Rodríguez, Steve Pye, Lai Fong Chiu, Andrew Z. P. Smith, Tiziano Gallo Cassarino, Mark Barrett and Robert Lowe

Abstract

Energy models have been widely applied to the analysis of energy system decarbonisation to assess the options and costs of a transition to a low carbon supply. However, questions persist as to whether they are able to effectively represent and assess heat decarbonisation pathways for the buildings sector. A range of limitations have been identified, including a poor spatio-temporal resolution, limited representation of behaviour, and restricted representation of the full technical option set. This paper undertakes a review of existing energy models for heat decarbonisation in the UK, applying the novel perspective of energy system architecture (ESA). A set of ESA-related features are identified (including evolvability, flexibility, robustness, and feasibility), and models are reviewed against these features. The review finds that a range of models exist that have strengths across different features of ESA, suggesting that multiple modelling approaches are needed in order to adequately address the heat decarbonisation challenge. However, opportunities to improve existing models and develop new approaches also exist, and a research agenda is therefore proposed.

Figure 1: Different combinations of system components employed to supply energy in buildings.

 

Sources of production (Renewables, Nuclear & gas) feed into Vectors & infrastructure (Electricity, Gas & District heating). Vectors, Heat supply technology (Heat pumps, Boilers & CHP, Scale (Buildings, Communities, Regions & International) and Storage technology (Thermal, Electric & Fuels) are all interconnected with each other. Finally, Heat supply technology feeds in to Energy services (Heating: space & water, Lighting & Appliances).

Publication details

Scamman, D., Solano-Rodríguez, B., Pye, S., Chiu, L.F., Smith, A.Z.P., Gallo Cassarino, T., Barrett, M. and Lowe, R. 2020. Heat decarbonisation modelling approaches in the UK: An energy system architecture Perspective. Energies, 13(8): 1869. doi: Opens in a new tab10.3390/en13081869Open access

Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash

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