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Diversity and Security in UK Electricity Generation: The Influence of Low Carbon Objectives

  • Grubb, M.
  • Butler, L.
  • Sinden, G.

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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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0511.

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Length: 42
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0511
Note: CMI, IO
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

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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. Karsten Neuhoff, 2005. "Large-Scale Deployment of Renewables for Electricity Generation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 88-110, Spring.
  3. Neuhoff, Karsten & De Vries, Laurens, 2004. "Insufficient incentives for investment in electricity generations," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 253-267, December.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Grubb, M. J., 1991. "The integration of renewable electricity sources," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 670-688, September.
  7. 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.
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