Flexibility is vital in electricity systems. It allows to balance the constant changes in supply and demand. Traditionally, fossil fuel based power stations have been very good at providing this flexibility. As these power stations come to the end of their life and increasing shares of generation come new ways to provide flexibility are needed.
Three candidates are: (1) Networks and interconnection; (2) Demand side flexibility and (3) Storage.
These new approaches to flexibility challenge conventional operation of electricity systems in fundamental ways. New technologies, business models, institutions, policies and regulatory structure are needed. Under this theme we consider the wide ranging aspects of flexibility and address interdependences between solutions.
- Funding: EU Horizon 2020
- 2019 - 2022
- Programme Lead: Dr Sarah Darby
In many parts of Europe, centralised energy systems are in decline while more distributed, diverse, low-carbon and participatory systems are emerging. How are community-based energy projects creating value for their members and society in general? This EU-funded project will work with communities at the forefront of developing new business models, to analyse the contexts from which they emerge and how they engage citizens, create value and share learning. It will also assess their potential to scale up.
- Funding: EPSRC Fellowship
- PI: Dr Philipp Grunewald
The aim of METER is to develop an evidence base for the potential of demand response in households.
This study uses smart phone technology to collect electricity consumption from thousands of UK households, alongside activity diaries from household members. It explores the timing of electricity use and tests the responsiveness of demand to a range of incentives.
- Funding: Oxford Martin School
- Co-Directors: Dr Nick Eyre and Dr Malcolm McCulloch
The Oxford Martin Programme on Integrating Renewable Energy aims to deliver a framework for understanding technical, market and policy requirements for integrating renewables across scales, resource types and contexts. The work includes tasks on ‘Governance of and engagement with the demand side’, in which we aim to analyse shifts towards ‘active’ demand and the potential for more flexible demand at different scales. Partners at the Oxford University: Departments of Engineering, Materials, Law and Mathematic, the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.
- Funding: European Commission (Horizon 2020)
- People: Dr Sarah Darby, Philipp Grünewald, Sarah Higginson
This project combines trials of electric storage heating and water heating in Ireland, Germany and Latvia with modelling, with the aim of assessing how local small-scale energy storage with advanced ICT could bring benefits to all participants in European energy markets. Project partners: Glen Dimplex (lead), Intel, The Energy Research Centre at University College Dublin, DIW Berlin, Riga Technical University, VTT (Finnish Technical Research Institute, ESB Networks, EirGrid, SSE Airtricity and MVV Energie.
- Funding: Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board)
- People: Dr Sarah Darby, Philipp Grünewald, Jo Hamilton
This project aims to enable communities to work together to pool locally-owned generation and match it with local demand to reduce bills and carbon emissions. Partners: Energy Local Ltd., De Montfort University, Exergy Devices Ltd., Moixa Technology, Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust, Energise Sussex Coast and Cooperative Energy Ltd
- Funding: ESRC
- People: Sarah Darby, Marina Topouzi
This is part of a programme based at the Centre for Time Use Research in the Oxford University Department of Sociology, producing time diary resources for use by the social science, public health, environmental and other research communities. The project combines diaries and instrumentation (accelerometers, body cameras, high-resolution energy meters) to contribute to understanding of how energy use relates to daily activities and to develop applications for diary data.
- Funding: EPSRC
- Co-I: Dr Nick Eyre; Led by Professor Jim Hall
The ITRC informs the analysis, planning and design of national infrastructure, through the development and demonstration of new decision support tools, and working with partners in government and industry. LCF input has focused on the NISMOD-LP model of demand and capacity for infrastructure systems, leading the work on modelling energy demand.
Full list of archived energy projects.