Development of a system-dynamics-based methodology for comprehensive community energy planning

Bugaje, Bilal (2022) Development of a system-dynamics-based methodology for comprehensive community energy planning. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Global trends are leading to a rise in Energy Planning (EP) at the community-level, and Distributed Energy Resources at the residential-level, while seeking a more sustainable future; EP involves decision-making about energy systems. Whilst Community Energy Planning (CEP) aims to be holistic and participatory, it comprises multiple disjointed methods that lead to two challenges. The first challenge is hindrance to a holistic approach and understanding of the energy system, while the second challenge is hindrance to participation from diverse stakeholders. However, System Dynamics (SD), which is a methodology for mental and simulation models, looks promising as a basis for a comprehensive CEP methodology that would lead to a more holistic and participatory CEP.

Consequently, the research question of the thesis is: is a System Dynamics approach an effective and comprehensive methodology for sustainable Community Energy Planning? The research aims were broken down into specific objectives which are addressed in specific chapters. The objectives that required creating simulation models were addressed as case-study chapters, and arranged such that later chapters build on models created in earlier chapters, culminating in the combination of multiple earlier models.

Drawing on the literature of Sustainability Assessment (SA) and the methods used in CEP, it is argued that CEP is a form of SA because it utilises Sustainability Indicators to appraise models of planned energy systems. Furthermore, a comprehensive CEP methodology is proposed that is centred around SD, which addresses some of the challenges of CEP. Subsequently, gaps were identified in the demonstration of SD among the methods of the proposed CEP methodology, which was found to be in the area of bottom-up simulation models. The case-study chapters are the first attempts in the following, while utilising SD from the bottom-up: a valid supply-side model; use of the supply-side model in decision-making analyses; a valid demand-side model; use of the demand-side model in decision-making analyses; and combination of supply-side models, and with a demand-side model. Additionally, there are other significant contributions from the case-studies. In conclusion, it is argued that SD could be an effective basis for a more comprehensive CEP methodology, and that this research can be considered a step towards that aim.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Rutherford, Peter
Clifford, Mike
Keywords: System-Dynamics-based methodology, Comprehensive community energy planning
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 69220
Depositing User: Bugaje, Bilal
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2022 04:40
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2022 04:40
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/69220

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