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Explaining shifts in UK electricity demand using time use data from 1974 to 2014

Explaining shifts in UK electricity demand using time use data from 1974 to 2014
Explaining shifts in UK electricity demand using time use data from 1974 to 2014
Peaks in electricity demand generate significant negative environmental and economic impacts. As a result, recent policy and research attention has focused on the potential for temporal flexibility of demand, especially in the context of intermittent low-carbon generation. Much of this work emphasises the need to understand what makes up the peak and to engineer solutions to meet this ‘normal’ consumption. However, today's patterns of temporal consumption may only be a snapshot of continuing change. This paper uses UK household time-use survey data to analyse change in temporal patterns of activities over the last 40 years to shed light on apparent temporal shifts in overall UK electricity demand. The results highlight long term evolution in when and where people work, travel, eat, use media and carry out social activities. In particular they suggest that changing patterns of labour market participation may be contributing to shifts in food related, personal/home care and media activities which correlates with shifts in electricity demand. We conclude that both stable and dynamic social structures and forms of organisation have direct implications for policy debates around current and future flexible demand-side solutions.
Electricity demand, households, UK, time use, DEMAND
0301-4215
544-557
Anderson, Ben
01e98bbd-b402-48b0-b83e-142341a39b2d
Torriti, Jacopo
248b5afb-1057-44f5-b5c0-b7f46d2a588c
Anderson, Ben
01e98bbd-b402-48b0-b83e-142341a39b2d
Torriti, Jacopo
248b5afb-1057-44f5-b5c0-b7f46d2a588c

Anderson, Ben and Torriti, Jacopo (2018) Explaining shifts in UK electricity demand using time use data from 1974 to 2014. Energy Policy, 123, 544-557. (doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.09.025).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Peaks in electricity demand generate significant negative environmental and economic impacts. As a result, recent policy and research attention has focused on the potential for temporal flexibility of demand, especially in the context of intermittent low-carbon generation. Much of this work emphasises the need to understand what makes up the peak and to engineer solutions to meet this ‘normal’ consumption. However, today's patterns of temporal consumption may only be a snapshot of continuing change. This paper uses UK household time-use survey data to analyse change in temporal patterns of activities over the last 40 years to shed light on apparent temporal shifts in overall UK electricity demand. The results highlight long term evolution in when and where people work, travel, eat, use media and carry out social activities. In particular they suggest that changing patterns of labour market participation may be contributing to shifts in food related, personal/home care and media activities which correlates with shifts in electricity demand. We conclude that both stable and dynamic social structures and forms of organisation have direct implications for policy debates around current and future flexible demand-side solutions.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 September 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 1 October 2018
Published date: December 2018
Keywords: Electricity demand, households, UK, time use, DEMAND

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 423534
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/423534
ISSN: 0301-4215
PURE UUID: 132e88d2-2f21-41c3-a0b2-338cd58826e4
ORCID for Ben Anderson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2092-4406

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 Sep 2018 16:30
Last modified: 21 Dec 2019 05:01

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