Global Electricity Demand

Due to varying climates, life-styles, industries, and day light hours, electricity use around the world varies significantly. The video above shows the hourly electricity demand in 2019 (UTC) for over 100 geographic regions. The load of each area is scaled to a percentage of its maximum load (therefore absolute values are not shown) and the […]

The problem with carbon budgets

It has been the best part of 30 years since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (an international treaty aiming to reduce atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases) was established. set up. One of the first tasks agreed on was for countries to start documenting their emissions and report annually to monitor decarbonisation. To ensure […]

The price of green electricity

Following significant investment, the past decade has seen a rapid fall in the price of renewable energy. Some now believe that renewables are cost competitive to fossil fuels (as well as their obvious benefits). However, making economic comparisons between electricity generation technologies is actually surprisingly difficult. When quantifying the cost of generating a unit of […]

Electric vehicle smart charging: the transmission-distribution conflict

Electric vehicles will play a key role in decarbonising the transport sector. However, transitioning energy demand from oil to electricity will increase the strain on electricity networks. This will be especially true in countries that primarily rely on gas heating, as their systems typically aren’t designed to handle large loads. The higher-level national network is […]

Forecasting s-curves is hard

S-curves (or sigmoid functions) are commonly used to model the evolution of social or biological systems over time [1]. These functions start with exponential growth, then increase linearly, and finally level off (therefore end up looking like a wonky s). Many things that we think of as exponential functions will actually follow an s-curve (otherwise […]

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Electricity Network

Over the past couple of weeks, many of us have seen significant changes to our daily routines. The implications of these are far reaching, but my niche interest is in how the electricity network has been affected. In the UK, we benefit from a relatively secure power system. Last August, parts of the nation experienced […]

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