SENCO Sustainable Environment Consultants



In most countries, electricity supply is a major source of atmospheric pollutants that degrade air quality, cause acidification and global warming. It also causes other impacts including nuclear and solid wastes, water consumption and loss of visual amenity. In general, regulation is reducing the emissions of most toxic and acidic pollutants, but not carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions to the same degree. Switching to natural gas and renewables may reduce growth in emissions, but continued demand growth may overwhelm the benefits of fuel switching. As with other sectors, energy efficiency and demand management are key options.

SENCO has worked extensively on the modelling of electricity demand and supply. This modelling includes technologies, system operation, emissions, and costs. A special expertise concerns the modelling of electricity demand.

SENCO 's  model of electricity services is called EleServe. It simulates electricity demand and supply flows on an hourly basis over a number of scenario years and may be used to develop least cost electricity systems with low environmental impacts. See the Trade and Energy-Space-Time pages for models which also address spatial and trade aspects, and SEEScen for contextual energy scenarios.

A video of EleServe optimising diurnal electricity service supply can be downloaded here (1 Mb, wmv) or here (0.2 Mb, gif). It shows the simulation of a hypothetical system for a winter's and summer's day for 2025 with high levels of energy efficiency and substantial components of renewables and CHP (called Essential generation). The simulation shows how highly variable inputs might be absorbed with the help of load management and storage. It demonstrates how important load management - shifting heat loads with end use storage - might be in the integration of renewable and CHP electricity. In this case, the net load met by Optional thermal generators is almost totally flattened even without the use of system storage such as pumped storage.

EleServe consists of a demand module and a supply module. The model operates on sample days in a year of a scenario. The sample output below is for two sample days: winter and summer.

The demand module of EleServe  calculates stock turnovers of end use equipment, electricity consumption and capital investment for 35 end uses and appliances across the domestic, industrial and commercial sectors.

Each demand varies with socioeconomic activity and some demands (heating, lighting, cooling) also vary with the weather.

The chart shows demands without additional load management.

Demands for heat and cooling may be shifted in time using storage such as hot water tanks, in order to reduce the variation in demand that has to be met by thermal power stations. This results in lower capacity requirements, the better integration of variable sources such as renewables and CHP.

The chart shows demands with additional load management..

The supply module first calculates the outputs from non-optional electricity sources - CHP and renewables. These are highly variable and not well correlated with demand.

The chart shows illustrative outputs.

The supply module then adjusts system storage (e.g. pumped storage) and trade, and operates power stations in an order that minimises costs. Reserve requirements, part loading characteristics and start-up time and costs are accounted for.

The capital and running costs, and atmospheric emissions for each power station are calculated.

The chart shows the output from aggregated power stations for the UK.










Developments of electricity model Ilex Development of modules to: optimise to meet emission constraints, model dynamic behaviour of generating units. 2001 Mark Barrett
Comparative emissions from diesel generators Wessex Water A comparison of the atmospheric pollutants emitted by diesel and other types of generation in the UK. 2000 Mark Barrett
Heat pumps Association for the Conservation of Energy An assessment of the potential for supplying heat with electric heat pumps in various UK energy demand sectors. 1993 Mark Barrett
Northern Ireland capacity planning Ilex An assessment of the requirements for new generating capacity in Northern Ireland. 1993 Mark Barrett
Electricity consulting Various commercial clients Aided various commercial clients in the appraisal of new generating projects in the UK during privatisation. Work included pool price forecasting and probable position of new generator in merit order. 1988 - 1991 Mark Barrett
European electricity Wharton Economic Forecasting Associates. Study of electricity demand, generation and trade for 17 European countries.  Developed database and modelling framework.  The latter included a trade optimisation model. 1990 Mark Barrett
Coal supply to UK power stations Coal Information and Consultancy Services. Study of the options for supplying coal to UK power stations.  A combination of simulation and linear optimisation modelling techniques was developed and used. 1988 Mark Barrett
Coal supply to UK power stations  Coal Information and Consultancy Service Model of coal and other fuel consumption in UK power stations and the least cost supply and transport of coal to these stations. 1988 Mark Barrett
Low impact electricity strategy Greenpeace UK. Project manager of a study to develop an electricity strategy for the UK that achieves very high environmental standards.  Developed model incorporating effects of demand side management, emission control and fuel switching. 1986 Mark Barrett
Shut Them Down Greenpeace UK. Study of implications of a rapid closure of nuclear power stations. 1986 Mark Barrett
London in the Dark? Greater London Council A study of the possibility of electricity cuts because of power station fuel shortages during the miners' strike of 1984/5. 1985 Mark Barrett
Electricity conservation Council for the Protection of Rural England. An appraisal of the scope for electricity conservation in the UK including technical potential, capital costs and savings in electricity supply.  A study of the administrative and regulatory requirements was also carried out. 1983 Mark Barrett




Home ] Up ]

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: September 29, 2004
Home| Contact Us