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Diversity and security in UK electricity generation: The influence of low-carbon objectives

  • Grubb, Michael
  • Butler, Lucy
  • Twomey, Paul

We explore the relationship between low carbon objectives and the strategic security of electricity in the context of the UK Electricity System. We consider diversity of fuel source mix to represent one dimension of security - robustness against interruptions of any one source - and apply two different diversity indices to the range of electricity system scenarios produced by the UK government and independent researchers. Using data on wind generation we also consider whether a second dimension of security - the reliability of generation availability - is compromised by intermittency of renewable generation. Our results show that low carbon objectives are uniformly associated with greater long-term diversity in UK electricity. We discuss reasons for this result, explore sensitivities, and briefly discuss possible policy instruments associated with diversity and their limitations.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2006)
Issue (Month): 18 (December)
Pages: 4050-4062

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:34:y:2006:i:18:p:4050-4062
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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  1. Costantini, Valeria & Gracceva, Francesco & Markandya, Anil & Vicini, Giorgio, 2007. "Security of energy supply: Comparing scenarios from a European perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 210-226, January.
  2. Stirling, Andrew, 1994. "Diversity and ignorance in electricity supply investment : Addressing the solution rather than the problem," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 195-216, March.
  3. Neuhoff, K., 2004. "Large Scale Deployment of Renewables for Electricity Generation," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0460, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. Keller, Katja & Wild, Jorg, 2004. "Long-term investment in electricity: a trade-off between co-ordination and competition?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 243-251, December.
  5. Lieb-Dóczy, Enese & Börner, Achim-Rüdiger & MacKerron, Gordon, 2003. "Who Secures the Security of Supply? European Perspectives on Security, Competition, and Liability," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(10), pages 10-19, December.
  6. Neuhoff, K. & de Vries, L., 2004. "'Insufficient Incentives for Investment in Electricity Generation’," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0428, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Grubb, M. J., 1991. "The integration of renewable electricity sources," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 670-688, September.
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