I have decided to post a little visualisation of an element of my research here. As part of parameterising a model on technology adoption in the Smart Grid, I have analysed the uptake of technology in response to the Feed in Tariff in the UK. For those who don’t know, the Feed in Tariff is a scheme which pays those who have installed microgeneration a premium for every kWh that their generator produces. This is paid whether the electricity is consumed locally or exported to the grid. There is a small premium (currently 4.5 p/kWh – originally just over 3p/kWh) for electricity exported to the grid.
I have looked particularly at PV systems adopted in the domestic context (i.e. households deciding to purchase their own solar panels). The pattern of adoption varies both geographically and over time. I produced the little visualisation below to show this. The video shows number of adoptions per postcode district (e.g. LE2, DE4 etc) over time, with a snapshot taken every week and each second on the video corresponding to 5 weeks. The visualisation starts at 1st April 2010 – the date when the Feed in Tariff was introduced.
Things to notice are
- The scale is basically logarithmic – so colour changes at the low end are for one or two installations, whereas at the top end a single colour is used for areas with between 500 and 1000 installations.
- There has been a huge increase in domestic PV ownership during the time that the Feed in Tariff has been in force.
- There are notable “jumps” at certain times in the simulation. These correspond to political events – on which subject more in a future post. They are connected with controversy about the feed in tariff levels.
- Big cities tend to remain at very low adoption numbers. This may be a problem if we want microgeneration to offset local demand, as cities also tend to be places of high consumption. On the other hand – microgeneration even at these levels is still well below consumption of even a single house – so as it stands most generation will offset demand locally.
Apologies for the poor quality video – I have a nicer mp4 for anyone interested, but could not embed it locally – resulting in the use of the YouTube that you see above.
Anyway – I think this is a nice visualisation of the data on microgeneration adoption. Unfortunately you can’t embed a video in a thesis – so here it is for the world to share 🙂
I intend to look at capacity and density in the not-too-distant future, as well as posting on any differences found if the geographic scaled is changed (e.g. looking at smaller, or larger, geographic units. As always – comments welcome – especially if you think there are things that I could improve to communicate the data in the video more clearly.