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The effect of spatial resolution on outcomes from energy systems modelling of heat decarbonisation

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  • Jalil-Vega, Francisca
  • Hawkes, Adam D.

Abstract

Spatial resolution is often cited as a crucial determinant of results from energy systems models. However, there is no study that comprehensively analyses the effect of spatial resolution. This paper addresses this gap by applying the Heat Infrastructure and Technology heat decarbonisation optimisation model in six UK Local Authorities representing a range of rural/urban areas, at three levels of spatial resolution, in order to systematically compare results. Results show the importance of spatial resolution for optimal allocation of heat supply technologies and infrastructure across different urban/rural areas. Firstly, for the studied cases, differences of up to 30% in heat network uptake were observed when comparing results between different resolutions for a given area. Secondly, for areas that generally exhibit the high and low extremes of linear heat density, results are less dependent on spatial resolution. Also, spatial resolution effects are more significant when there is higher variability of linear heat density throughout zones. Finally, results show that it is important to use finer resolutions when using optimisation models to inform detailed network planning and expansion. Higher spatial resolutions provide more detailed information on zones that act as anchors that can seed network growth and on location of network supply technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Jalil-Vega, Francisca & Hawkes, Adam D., 2018. "The effect of spatial resolution on outcomes from energy systems modelling of heat decarbonisation," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 339-350.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:155:y:2018:i:c:p:339-350
    DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2018.04.160
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    Cited by:

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    6. Daniel Scamman & Baltazar Solano-Rodríguez & Steve Pye & Lai Fong Chiu & Andrew Z. P. Smith & Tiziano Gallo Cassarino & Mark Barrett & Robert Lowe, 2020. "Heat Decarbonisation Modelling Approaches in the UK: An Energy System Architecture Perspective," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(8), pages 1-28, April.

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