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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Iain Savill

Future Dynamic Demand Side Management of Non- Domestic Buildings

Iain Savill

Future Dynamic Demand Side Management of Non- Domestic Buildings

Dynamic demand side management (DSM) of electricity is an emergent trend with the potential for significant environmental, economic and social benefits. The key drivers leading towards a significant deployment of dynamic DSM are, however, extremely diverse, incorporating engineering, economics and behavioural psychology amongst others.

This study looks to investigate the future of dynamic DSM in the UK through scenario planning based on the key drivers and uncertainties identified today. By developing a number of scenarios we are able to analyse a broad spectrum of future outcomes whilst acknowledging that future uncertainty exists. These scenarios can then be applied to analyse the implications of dynamic DSM for non-domestic buildings, in particular with respect to current design theory, regulation or government policy.

Identification of the key drivers in terms of their impact and uncertainty on the future of dynamic DSM was carried out through a series of semi- structured qualitative interviews with relevant participants from various fields. The area of work of these interviewees ranged from academia and local councils to property development and electrical infrastructure. Analysis of the interviews provided a basis for the scenario development; this was carried out through a deductive method, which uses two key, mutually exclusive future uncertainties to define the scope of the scenarios.

The interview process has clearly identified one particular factor as being both highly important and uncertain in the future of dynamic DSM; namely the level of regulatory or legislative pressure to implement DSM (as opposed to market incentives).
A secondary influencing factor has been found to be the outlook for electricity generation within the UK. At one end of the spectrum is an energy mix dominated by new nuclear and carbon capture and storage, whilst at the other end, variable renewables such as wind and solar prevail.

The two major factors identified allow us to define the boundaries of the futures scenarios, as outlined in Fig 1. Upcoming work involves fleshing out the scenarios into plausible ‘future storylines’ allowing them to be used to test current policy and design in relation to non- domestic buildings.