History of electricity network control and distributed generation in the UK and western Denmark

Lehtonen, Markku and Nye, Sheridan (2009) History of electricity network control and distributed generation in the UK and western Denmark. Energy Policy, 37 (6). pp. 2338-2345. ISSN 0301-4215

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Achieving the ambitious targets for renewable electricity generation in Europe will require harnessing a diverse range of energy sources, many of which are decentralised, small scale, and will be connected directly to the distribution networks. To control the two-way flows of electricity, the current passive network configurations will need to be replaced by active network management. This will require, in particular, innovations in intelligent IT-based network control. This paper draws on research on Large Technical Systems (LTS) and control systems in other sectors to analyse the evolution of electricity network control in western Denmark and the UK, since the Second World War. It concludes that lack of progress in network control has only recentlylargely because of the combined needs to provide greater reliability and green electricity within liberalised marketsemerged as a reverse salient that will prevent the further development of the LTS of electricity supply industry towards desired direction. Breaking the inertia in the LTS and its control systems will require determined government action to promote learning and collaborative search for solutions. The UK might well draw lessons from the Danish pragmatism in fostering innovation through targeted support to collaborative R&D efforts towards sustainability objectives.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Markku Lehtonen
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:03
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2012 13:26
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29316
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