IESIS publishes new strategy paper, 29 November 2018:
Engineering for Energy - A proposal for
governance of the energy system
Authored by the IESIS Energy Strategy Group
The paper argues that government policy for energy must be based on engineered planning. The planning should be carried out by a National Energy Authority.
The paper recommends how government decisions about energy should formulated. It does not make any recommendations about what the energy policy should be.
The focus is on the electricity system because that is the crucial issue. Main strategies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions depend on increased use of electricity.
Engineered planning involves the use of a range of problem solving strategies as described in To EngineerThe following definitions are crucial to the proposals made in the paper:
- The risk to security of supply is that the demand for electricity may not be satisfied.
- The risk to security of operation is that the system may become unstable and close down.
- A system model is a set of algorithms and data that can be used to predict the behaviour of the electricity system.
- The security risks can only be satisfactorily controlled by use of information from a system model.
- It is therefore imperative that the system is planned using such information. The planning needs to take account of all relevant issues, including cost and emissions reduction - that can also be addressed by a system model.
- The planning process must be under the control of an independent body
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Background to the paper
The IESIS Energy Strategy Group was formed in 2007 to promote the principle that government energy policy should be based on sound engineering principles. Representations have been made to the Westminster and Holyrood Governments and to other bodies on several occasions. Documents have been made available on www.iesisenergy.org.
We have refined our arguments that justify this principle. Engineering for Energy represents the culmination of our efforts in this direction.
The main power systems engineers in the Group are:
- Colin M Gibson spent his career in the electricity supply industry. First, in South of Scotland Electricity Board in various positions in design, planning and operations covering both generation and transmission. He worked on the privatisation programme in Scotland before moving to the CEGB. There, he took the Pumped Storage Business through the privatisation process as General Manager, setting up the technical, commercial and financial organization. He was appointed to the Board of the National Grid Group in 1993 as Power Network Director with responsibility for the commercial development, system design, asset management and system operation of the England & Wales system.
- Iain A McKenzie also spent his career in power systems engineering in the UK and Canada. His experience included electrical design for a nuclear power station, forward planing, transmission protection and grid control development.Sadly, Iain died in September 2018.
Although not a formal member of the Strategy Group, Sir Donald Miller, has provided very important support. In 2015 he was inducted to the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame - see: www.engineeringhalloffame.org/profile-miller.html. See also the transcript of his acceptance speech for that award: www.engineeringhalloffame.org/assets/files/donaldmilleracceptance.pdf
Iain MacLeod, former President of IESIS, was the lead author for the report.
Others who have made contributions to the work of the Group include:
Ian Arbon, Blair Armstrong, Chris Denton, Tom Douglas, Douglas Greenalgh, Ieuan Isaac, Hugh Henderson, Robert Hollingdale, Bryan Little, Gordon Masterton, Harry Osborn, Andy Pearson, Bill Ross, Charles Scott, Keith Vass, David Watson, Willie Wilson, Alan Young.