A multi-disciplinary analysis of UK grid mix scenarios with large-scale PV deployment

Marco Raugei, Enrica Leccisi, Brian Azzopardi, Christopher Jones, Paul Gilbert, Lingxi Zhang, Yutian Zhou, Sarah Mander, Pierluigi Mancarella

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    The increasing contribution of renewable energies to electricity grids in order to address impending environmental challenges implies a reduction in non-renewable resource use and an alignment with a global transition toward a low-carbon electric sector. In this paper, four future UK grid mix scenarios with increased photovoltaic (PV) installed capacity are assessed and compared to a benchmark “Low PV” scenario, from 2016 to 2035. The complexity of the issue requires a multi-disciplinary approach to evaluate the availability of net energy, environmental aspects and technical performance. Hence, the comparison between scenarios includes short-term and long-term energy metrics as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) and technical metrics. Also, the paper considers the viewpoints offered by both an “integrative” and a “dynamic” approach to net energy analysis. Results for all five analysed scenarios indicate that increased PV deployment will not be detrimental to the UK grid performance from the points of view of a wide range of system-level technical (% renewable energy curtailment to ensure grid stability), energy (energy return on investment and non-renewable cumulative energy demand) and environmental (greenhouse gas emissions) metrics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)51-62
    Number of pages12
    JournalEnergy Policy
    Early online date22 Dec 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


    • Consequential
    • EROI
    • Grid mix
    • LCA
    • Prospective
    • Scenarios

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • Manchester Urban Institute
    • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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