Variable energy pricing in stand alone community hybrid energy systems

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Satisfying the demand for a more efficient and sustainable energy supply model has presented a new challenge for the energy industry. It has also created an opportunity for alternative and renewable sources of energy generation, which has led to a significant increase in the deployment of renewable technologies in many countries. Recent years have also seen these technologies deployed at a community scale, with remote and isolated communities in particular being regarded as ideal locations. Such systems are capable of providing increasingly viable, standalone alternatives to the centralised energy supply model.This thesis investigates the extent to which the viability of these stand-alone hybrid energy systems could be further improved by implementing domestic demand response, promoted via variable domestic energy pricing. A high resolution,disaggregated model of domestic energy demand at the community level is then developed, supported by the findings of a targeted consumer attitudes survey. This model is combined with a series of demand response algorithms which replicate the response of domestic consumers to energy price variation. Three variable pricing approaches are then applied to the model under a range of conditions, and the impacts examined from both a community-wide and household level perspective.The thesis demonstrates the relevance and potential of stand-alone hybrid applications and the remote/isolated communities in which they are typically deployed. The results find variable domestic energy pricing based on renewable energy supply to be capable of achieving modest yet significant levels of demand response under a broad range of conditions (83% of the scenarios modelled).Further sensitivity analysis shows the pricing strategies to be resilient to changes in supply conditions, thereby illustrating the broad ranging potential of such an approach. However, susceptibility to free-rider behaviour and insensitivity to household elasticity levels suggest the need for additional/supplementary forms of financial incentivisation.
Date of Award14 Sept 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsEPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)

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