The impact of climate change on the electricity supply industry

Climate data

Since April 2020, IMI Fellow Chenghong Gu, and IMI saff Beate Ehrhardt and Chris Budd, have teamed with the National Grid Company to study publicly available data from the Met Office’s Hadley Centre. Advanced statistical methods are being used to analyse this data, to provide climate projections (of temperature, wind, snowfall, pressure etc.) for the whole of the UK and to estimate the likelihood of localised extreme weather estimates. These are then being combined with models for electricity demand, to assess the impact of climate change on the expected load on the national grid. Further models are also being developed to determine the resulting risk of localised failure of the national grid assets such as distribution cables, transformers and generators. The output of this work will be local predictions of demand and failure of the electricity network as a result of climate change over the next 30 years.

ML and optimisation

With the initial phase of this project already financially supported by industry, Chenghong will use his IMI fellowship to leverage further funding opportunities through collaboration with the IMI MIRAs and extend the scope of this project to other energy vectors, such as natural gas, heating/cooling, hydrogen, and transportation. The project will innovate machine-learning and optimisation models to untangle the multidimensional complex relationship between various weather and energy production, transportation and consumption. In this way, game-changing solutions to manage and prepare our national energy infrastructure for climate change will be produced, helping to deliver a secure, clean, low-cost energy supply.