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Gemma Delafield

Gemma Delafield wins Best Presenter award

Congratulations to Gemma Delafield (PhD Student - LEEP Institute) who has passed her PhD upgrade assessment and won the award for Best Presenter at the Annual PGR Students Conference in Economics, for her presentation entitled, 'Spatial Optimisation of Energy Infrastructure,' as detailed below. Gemma will receive a £50 Amazon voucher for achieving the highest overall presentation score.

Title: Spatial Optimization of Energy Infrastructure

Author: Gemma Delafield

Supervisors: Brett Day and Ian Bateman

Abstract: The UK is legally committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. In order to meet these targets, significant changes to how the country generates electricity will be required. The government currently uses cost minimization models like UKTM to understand which energy technologies could contribute to the UK’s future energy mix, however these models give no indication as to where new energy infrastructure may be located.

A national-scale spatially disaggregated integrated model has been developed to spatialize the output of energy models like UKTM. The modelling framework uses various spatial optimization techniques to determine the least cost locations for solar farms, wind farms and bioenergy power plants simultaneously. This framework has then been used to explore the costs associated with restricting certain areas of land from energy development, to protect food security and biodiversity. If energy infrastructure is not permitted to be built on high grade agricultural land, National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the total spatial footprint and cost of the energy system is seen to increase.

Keywords: Renewable energy, spatial optimization, land use, economic valuation, environment

Date: 22 June 2018

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