Risk assessment of UK electricity supply in a rapidly evolving energy sector

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Abstract

A range of major risks associated with a rapidly changing United Kingdom (UK) electricity sector have been identified and quantified with the aid of various stakeholder groups (academic researchers, civil servants, electricity cornpanies, 'green' groups, power system engineers, and various others), who completed an online internet questionnaire. Each stakeholder ranked potential risks according to the perceived 'severity of impact' and 'likelihood of occurrence' using a three-point scale. The data were then used to perforin a ranking of the risks by multiplying scores for impact and occurrence. There was some variation between the different stakeholder groups, but similar risks were ranked highly by each group. The main risks were identified as being energy security issues (the highest score), lack of investment in new infrastructure, the closure of old coal and nuclear plants leading to reduced network capacity, severe weather events, and inadequate spare capacity margins generally The trial illustrates the potential of using risk assessment techniques to evaluate developing risks to the UK power landscape. Clearly such an exercise would need to be carried Out periodically if it were to maintain its value to the industry, its stakeholders, and to policy makers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-642
Number of pages20
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy
Volume222
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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Risk assessment
Electricity
Energy security
Coal
Internet
Engineers
Industry

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abstract = "A range of major risks associated with a rapidly changing United Kingdom (UK) electricity sector have been identified and quantified with the aid of various stakeholder groups (academic researchers, civil servants, electricity cornpanies, 'green' groups, power system engineers, and various others), who completed an online internet questionnaire. Each stakeholder ranked potential risks according to the perceived 'severity of impact' and 'likelihood of occurrence' using a three-point scale. The data were then used to perforin a ranking of the risks by multiplying scores for impact and occurrence. There was some variation between the different stakeholder groups, but similar risks were ranked highly by each group. The main risks were identified as being energy security issues (the highest score), lack of investment in new infrastructure, the closure of old coal and nuclear plants leading to reduced network capacity, severe weather events, and inadequate spare capacity margins generally The trial illustrates the potential of using risk assessment techniques to evaluate developing risks to the UK power landscape. Clearly such an exercise would need to be carried Out periodically if it were to maintain its value to the industry, its stakeholders, and to policy makers.",
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