Joel Venn, head analyst at Regen, has been analysing high granularity projections for low carbon technologies in SSEN’s licence areas.
Regen and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) will soon be publishing a report on our work together to produce street-level low carbon technology (LCT) projections. This work has built on our previous studies to produce projections for changes in demand and generation technologies connecting to their 11 kV networks. However, for some LCTs there is a need for a more granular forecast to provide an evidence base to support the development of low voltage networks.
Therefore, to enable SSEN’s detailed investment planning and risk mitigation strategies, and to provide an evidence base to support the development of SSEN’s RIIO-ED2 price control period business case, Regen has analysed high granularity projections for EVs, EV chargers, heat pumps and solar rooftop PV. We have done this down to less than street level granularity for over half a million individual feeders and distribution substations in SSEN’s two licence areas.
Disaggregating LCT projections to over half a million feeders distribution substations presented a major challenge, both in terms of data processing and analysis. Once these feeders and distribution substations were combined with the other core variables of multiple technologies and sub-technologies, three decades of annual projections and five scenarios, approximately one billion individual projection values were successfully calculated for the study.
Example geospatial analysis
Domestic off-street charger distribution analysis focused on the possible uptake of domestic EV chargers per EV at each household. As a result, the geospatial distribution of vehicles associated with on and off-street parking was evaluated, with the result that feeders in more rural and affluent areas see more domestic off-street EV charging and there is a greater need for public and on-street chargers in less affluent and urban areas. This is illustrated in the graphic below.
In the scenarios with stronger decarbonisation targets, the deployment of heat pumps increases to include more on-gas homes, with significant numbers of boilers being replaced by heat pumps from the 2030s onwards. From a base of 7,644 heat pumps in the SSEN Scottish licence area, around 215,000 homes are projected to install a heat pump under a Two Degrees scenario by 2050, compared to a low of 28,000 under a Steady Progression scenario. This low increase in the Steady Progression scenario occurs in the context of a lack of financial support and regulations supporting heat pumps in on-gas areas.
Hybrid heat pumps are important in the near-term in several scenarios, but are assumed to peak in 2035 in the Net Zero scenario and reduce to near zero by 2050. The Net Zero scenario in this analysis is a high-electrification scenario and domestic emissions are minimised. The initial uptake of hybrid heat pumps is modelled to street-level, as illustrated in the graphic below.
The report will be published in the coming weeks on our website and will appear in next month’s market insight report. The report will contain the study’s key results, analysis and a summary of the methodology.
More information about the project can be found here.