Thesis title: The spatiotemporal patterns of energy demand and supply in the UK
Name: Ed Sharp
Primary supervisor: Mark Barrett
Secondary supervisor: Catalina Spataru and Paul Dodds
Starting date: September 2011
Projected completion date: September 2014
Both demand and supply characteristics are expected to change in the future, predominantly through changes in climate, loss of traditional fuels and demographic vicissitudes. This study intends to contribute to the understanding of potential future scenarios by modelling the spatiotemporal variations of both.
The intention is to determine the spatial (0.6 degrees) and temporal (1 hour) patterns of energy demand and supply using a number of databases - demographic, climatological, technological, etc. The first objective will be to characterise spatiotemporal demand in a recent historic year using historic data. The accuracy of the model can then be assessed by aggregating the resulting demand to different scales and comparing forecasts with contemporary data. The system will then be used to identify the spatiotemporal co-evolution of demand and supply in the future for a series of scenarios produced in other work. This will build on existing work which has used coarser units in both space and time or ignored one of the two aspects.
The expectation is that the outputs will aid many aspects of system planning; for example, they could be used to assess the optimum geographical distribution of wind farms. The project is currently at the proposal stage and is expected to evolve alongside other projects within the institute and beyond which are harnessing the possibilities of spatial analysis.
As an undergraduate I completed a degree in Geography at the University of Leeds. From there I went on to work for SABSCO Ltd where I began as a technician assembling and operating systems to complete the commissioning process for newly built and refurbished power stations. After a break to travel I returned to continue work as a site supervisor and project manager for the same company taking on the responsibility of running projects from inception to completion. During my time working for SABSCO I successfully completed projects across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Subsequent to this I have completed a Master's of Science (MSc) in Geographic Information Science (GIS) at UCL. This complemented my undergraduate degree by adding technical knowledge of spatial analysis. This year also served to supplement my understanding of academic practices through exposure to lectures and conferences alongside different forms of academic writing.
I am currently finishing a Masters of Research (MRes) in Energy Demand Studies. This has been useful in increasing my knowledge of energy systems from both the demand and supply perspectives. This combination of experience in geographic and spatial science with energy has led me to my current situation investigating how these fields can interact.