Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown on the Electricity System of Great Britain: A Study on Energy Demand, Generation, Pricing and Grid Stability

Version 1 : Received: 11 November 2020 / Approved: 12 November 2020 / Online: 12 November 2020 (12:33:48 CET)

How to cite: Kirli, D.; Parzen, M.; Kiprakis, A. Impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown on the Electricity System of Great Britain: A Study on Energy Demand, Generation, Pricing and Grid Stability. Preprints 2020, 2020110348 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0348.v1). Kirli, D.; Parzen, M.; Kiprakis, A. Impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown on the Electricity System of Great Britain: A Study on Energy Demand, Generation, Pricing and Grid Stability. Preprints 2020, 2020110348 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0348.v1).

Abstract

The outbreak of SARS-COV-2 disease 2019 (COVID-19) abruptly changed the patterns in electricity consumption, challenging the system operations of forecasting and balancing supply and demand. This is due to the mitigation measures that include lockdown and Work from Home (WFH), which decreased the aggregated demand and remarkably altered its profile. Here, we characterise these changes with various quantitative markers and compare it with pre-COVID-19 business-as-usual data using Great Britain (GB) as a case study. The ripple effects on the generation portfolio, system frequency, forecasting accuracy and imbalance pricing are also analysed. An energy data extraction and pre-processing pipeline that can be used in a variety of similar studies is also presented. Analysis of the GB demand data during the March 2020 lockdown indicates that a shift to WFH will result to a net benefit for flexible stakeholders, such as consumer on variable tariffs. Furthermore, the analysis illustrates a need for faster and more frequent balancing actions, as a result of the increased share of renewable energy in the generation mix. This new equilibrium of energy demand and supply will require a redesign of the existing balancing mechanisms as well as the longer-term power system planning strategies.

Subject Areas

electricity system; COVID-19; electricity demand; energy; demand; behaviour; lockdown; electricity pricing

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