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The implications of ambitious decarbonisation of heat and road transport for Britain’s net zero carbon energy systems

The implications of ambitious decarbonisation of heat and road transport for Britain’s net zero carbon energy systems
The implications of ambitious decarbonisation of heat and road transport for Britain’s net zero carbon energy systems
Decarbonisation of heating and road transport are regarded as necessary but very challenging steps on the pathway to net zero carbon emissions. Assessing the most efficient routes to decarbonise these sectors requires an integrated view of energy and road transport systems. Here we describe how a national gas and electricity transmission network model was extended to represent multiple local energy systems and coupled with a national energy demand and road transport model. The integrated models were applied to assess a range of technologies and policies for heating and transport where the UK’s 2050 net zero carbon emissions target is met. Overall, annual primary energy use is projected to reduce by between 25% and 50% by 2050 compared to 2015, due to ambitious efficiency improvements within homes and vehicles. However, both annual and peak electricity demands in 2050 are more than double compared with 2015. Managed electric vehicle charging could save 14TWh/year in gas-fired power generation at peak times, and associated emissions, whilst vehicle-to-grid services could provide 10GW of electricity supply during peak hours. Together, managed vehicle charging, and vehicle-to-grid supplies could result in a 16% reduction in total annual energy costs. The provision of fast public charging facilities could reduce peak electricity demand by 17GW and save an estimated £650 million annually. Although using hydrogen for heating and transport spreads the hydrogen network costs between homeowners and motorists, it is still estimated to be more costly overall compared to an all-electric scenario. Bio-energy electricity generation plants with carbon capture and storage are required to drive overall energy system emissions to net zero, utilisation of which is lowest when heating is electrified, and road transport consists of a mix of electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. The analysis demonstrates the need for an integrated systems approach to energy and transport policies and for coordination between national and local governments.
Net-zero, Decarbonisation, Heat, Transport, Hydrogen, Energy systems
0306-2619
Chaudry, Modassar
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Jayasuriya, Lahiru
4fbbd6e1-8258-4f89-ac97-c6c83ca125a8
Blainey, Simon
ee6198e5-1f89-4f9b-be8e-52cc10e8b3bb
Lovric, Milan
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Hall, Jim
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Russell, Tom
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Jenkins, Nick
72a88825-b7bc-449d-ae96-914111ca3117
Wu, Jianzhong
c9031a93-8ede-4623-97c4-bcd106553221
Chaudry, Modassar
f6d38405-9633-438f-a018-87e6992346cc
Jayasuriya, Lahiru
4fbbd6e1-8258-4f89-ac97-c6c83ca125a8
Blainey, Simon
ee6198e5-1f89-4f9b-be8e-52cc10e8b3bb
Lovric, Milan
64a3c876-4d8f-442f-9062-6dc491c773d1
Hall, Jim
4613e0ec-942b-4ac0-ac58-77ec6a886cfc
Russell, Tom
0bee324d-046d-4489-8d39-60ad51fa0b4a
Jenkins, Nick
72a88825-b7bc-449d-ae96-914111ca3117
Wu, Jianzhong
c9031a93-8ede-4623-97c4-bcd106553221

Chaudry, Modassar, Jayasuriya, Lahiru, Blainey, Simon, Lovric, Milan, Hall, Jim, Russell, Tom, Jenkins, Nick and Wu, Jianzhong (2021) The implications of ambitious decarbonisation of heat and road transport for Britain’s net zero carbon energy systems. Applied Energy - Elsevier, [117905]. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Decarbonisation of heating and road transport are regarded as necessary but very challenging steps on the pathway to net zero carbon emissions. Assessing the most efficient routes to decarbonise these sectors requires an integrated view of energy and road transport systems. Here we describe how a national gas and electricity transmission network model was extended to represent multiple local energy systems and coupled with a national energy demand and road transport model. The integrated models were applied to assess a range of technologies and policies for heating and transport where the UK’s 2050 net zero carbon emissions target is met. Overall, annual primary energy use is projected to reduce by between 25% and 50% by 2050 compared to 2015, due to ambitious efficiency improvements within homes and vehicles. However, both annual and peak electricity demands in 2050 are more than double compared with 2015. Managed electric vehicle charging could save 14TWh/year in gas-fired power generation at peak times, and associated emissions, whilst vehicle-to-grid services could provide 10GW of electricity supply during peak hours. Together, managed vehicle charging, and vehicle-to-grid supplies could result in a 16% reduction in total annual energy costs. The provision of fast public charging facilities could reduce peak electricity demand by 17GW and save an estimated £650 million annually. Although using hydrogen for heating and transport spreads the hydrogen network costs between homeowners and motorists, it is still estimated to be more costly overall compared to an all-electric scenario. Bio-energy electricity generation plants with carbon capture and storage are required to drive overall energy system emissions to net zero, utilisation of which is lowest when heating is electrified, and road transport consists of a mix of electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. The analysis demonstrates the need for an integrated systems approach to energy and transport policies and for coordination between national and local governments.

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Accepted/In Press date: 13 October 2021
Keywords: Net-zero, Decarbonisation, Heat, Transport, Hydrogen, Energy systems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 451971
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/451971
ISSN: 0306-2619
PURE UUID: 55445d0a-c837-4013-a1b3-78a5ecc59603
ORCID for Simon Blainey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4249-8110
ORCID for Milan Lovric: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8441-7625

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Nov 2021 17:30
Last modified: 13 Dec 2021 03:21

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Contributors

Author: Modassar Chaudry
Author: Lahiru Jayasuriya
Author: Simon Blainey ORCID iD
Author: Milan Lovric ORCID iD
Author: Jim Hall
Author: Tom Russell
Author: Nick Jenkins
Author: Jianzhong Wu

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