ScottishPower Professor of Smart Grids
University of Strathclyde
Keith Bell is the ScottishPower Professor of Smart Grids at the University of Strathclyde and, since May 2014, one of the co-Directors of the UK Energy Research Centre. He joined the University in 2005 having previously worked as a researcher in Bath, Manchester and Naples and as a system development engineer in the electricity supply industry in Britain. He is an invited expert member of CIGRE Study Committee C1 on System Development and Economics and a member of the Executive Committee of the IET Power Academy, an initiative to promote electric power engineering as a graduate career in the UK. He is a Chartered Engineer and, at different times, has advised the Scottish Government, the Republic of Ireland government, Ofgem and the UK government on power systems issues as well as being active in a number of engineering research projects in collaboration with UK and European industry and academic partners.
This presentation discusses the technical, regulatory and policy challenges inherent in planning and operating power systems with high penetrations of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) connected to electricity distribution networks. It presents a set of six principles for the development of future energy policy to facilitate a highly distributed electricity system. International examples will illustrate how optimal distribution systems are those that satisfy the objective of lowest cost whilst meeting customers' expectations of reliability and societal desire for sustainability. The challenges associated with facilitating a large number of small, variable and often uncertain resources includes the need to respect technical system limits, support innovation, arrange an appropriate share of risk between market actors, ensure continuity of arrangements across all voltage levels and avoidance of excessive complexity. The opportunities offered by Distributed Energy Resources as a substitute for capital network investment are highlighted along with its regulatory and policy implications.
Presentation: Highly Distributed Electricity: Technical, Regulatory And Policy Challenges