Library image, photo by Alireza Attari on Unsplash

Lost generation: System resilience and flexibility

12 August, 2020

Lost generation: System resilience and flexibility

Robert Lowe

Lai Fong Chiu

Tiziano Gallo Cassarino

Mark Barrett

Daniel Scamman

Andrew ZP Smith

Baltazar Solano Rodriguez

Research paper   Decarbonisation of heat

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


Whole energy system modelling is a valuable tool to support the development of policy to decarbonise energy systems, and has been used extensively in the UK for this purpose. However, quantitative insights produced by such models methods necessarily omit potentially important features of physical and engineering reality. The authors argue that important socio-technical insights can be gained by studying critical events such as the loss of 2.1 GW generation from the electricity system of Great Britain in August, 2019. The present paper uses this event as a starting point for a discussion of the need for additional tools, drawn from the System Architecture literature, to support the design and realisation of future fully decarbonised systems with high penetrations of renewable energy, capable of providing high levels of resilience and flexibility.

Publication details

Lowe, R., Chiu, L.F., Pye, S., Cassarino, T., Barrett, M., Scamman, D., Smith, A. and Solano, B. 2020. Opens in a new tabLost generation: System resilience and flexibility. In: Proceedings of the 2020 MIT “A+B” Applied Energy Symposium.  

Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash