This note provides an overview and guide to a process of assessment being undertaken by the UK Energy Research Centre Technology and Policy Assessment function (TPA), with support from the Carbon Trust.
The UKERC has consulted widely on the topics that the TPA needs to consider. It has chosen its preliminary topics carefully, in consultation with stakeholders and in accordance with defined criteria. Intermittency – used herein as shorthand for a range of issues that relate to the costs and electricity system impacts of the intermittent electrical output from wind, solar and some other forms of grid connected renewable generation – has emerged as one of two initial TPA assessment topics.
The TPA will undertake meta-analysis of existing work in order to seek gaps in knowledge, examine different modelling assumptions, and consider how well different pieces ofwork fit together. The assessment will seek to make clear where and why differences arise in terms of models, assumptions, scenarios and interpretation of findings. It will identify research gaps and provide a clear statement of the nature of the questions that remain.
A key goal is to achieve high standards of rigour and transparency. We have therefore set up a process that is inspired by the evidence based approach to policy assessment undertaken in healthcare, education and social policy, but that is not bound to any narrowly defined method or techniques. The approach entails tight specification of the means by which we will consult stakeholders and solicit expert input, highly specified searching of the relevant literature, and clear and transparent criteria against which relevant findings will be assessed. It is described in the Review Protocol, below.
An introduction to the subject matter and description of assessment activities are provided in this scoping note and protocol.