Energy Poverty

In industrial nations, there are small communities that lack access to adequate supply of energy. The essay focuses of Teesdale community. Apparently, communities in the industrial regions have significant demand and community engagement. Teesdale community is used to demonstrate energy poverty. The energy demand is assessed and suitable sources selected. The technologies are selected based on the self-sufficiency, use, sustainability and reliability. The suitable sustainable energy for Teesdale community is biomass and wind.

Table of Contents

Executive summary. 2

Introduction. 2

The aims and objectives. 2

Some details of the chosen community. 3

The energy supply system and its efficiency/impact on the community. 3

The benefits/waste reduction of the system.. 7

Conclusion. 8

References. 9


In developed nations, it can be difficult to recognize that there are rural communities. A large portion of Britain has settlements ranging from houses to small metropolitan areas with a population density of 1,000 persons. These areas are characterised by reliance on nation grid energy and transportation fuel. Hence residents face inadequate energy supply and modifying distribution networks is time consuming as well as costly. In most regions across Britain electricity networks are before the end of their economic life, however, estimating the age f networks is complicated (Dodds " McDowall 2013, p. 306). Based on all these factors, it is evident that rural communities need new sustainable and reliable sources of electricity supply. Moreover, as part of Kyoto protocol, Britain is committed to reducing carbon emission from 695 MtCO2e in 2006 to 159 MtCO2e in 2050 (Fankhauser 2013, p. 346). The purpose of this essay to design renewable energy system to meet energy demands for Teesdale community. Specifically, this aims at achieving robustness, self-sufficiency and sustainability.

The aims and objectives

1. To design a robust renewable energy system that ensures reliable power supply

2. To provide the community with an independent to achieve the requirements of low distribution and maintenance controlled by the local.

3. To provide a sustainable system that meets the future energy demands

Some details of the chosen community

The selected community is Teesdale, which is located in County Durham, England.  It was part of the SAVE and ALTENER project an initiative of European communities to achieve 100% renewable energy. This region is characterised by few conventional energy sources; inaccessible, inadequate infrastructural sources and low population density.

The energy supply system and its efficiency/impact on the community

In this community, there is a need to install different sources of renewable energy including geothermal, wind, PV and wind power. These sources would be integrated with a modern energy system where energy would be supplied via distribution grids. With respect to energy supply, during windy seasons, wind generators would be used and it composes a large quantity of energy supplied to the community. In the event that wind fails to supply adequate energy, the grid electricity will provide the inadequacy.

Figure 1- Solar Cost Curve (Source: Naam, 2014)

The figure above depicts changes in energy supply when there is no wind. Moreover, heat is generated by a range of sources. The main sources of heat energy include petroleum and geothermal heat pump (GHP). Owing to the fact that GHP energy source is electricity, it is price is determined by electricity price (Self, Reddy " Rosen 2013, p. 243). For instance, when electricity price is high, GHP price increases too. As such, heat generated with GHP is supplied to the community. Currently, the price of petroleum heat is roughly 4,725 cents/MWh. GHP prices increase than petroleum. For that reason, heat market prefers petroleum heat over GHP. With respect to County Durham community, if the wind is selected to choose its energy demands, GHP heat will be supplied, but when generation of wind reduces it will be substituted by petroleum heat.                                                                                                                              With regards to energy supply, the PV capacity is roughly 1.0 MW and 18.0MW for wind. The percentage of wind energy is higher accounting for approximately 90%. On the other hand, the supply of heat energy accounts for 4.3 MW, 19.1MW and 0.6 MW for petroleum, GHP and biomass respectively.  This shows that renewable energy system for the community will be based on wind conditions. In windy region, the capacity of wind energy is higher and PV is small. Similarly, reducing specific capital costs of PV influences the installed PV. When the specific service costs are reduced, there are no significant changes in the installed PV. This can be attributed to the PV load factor of 10% and 25% for wind energy. Thus to generate similar amount of power, PV should be increased, but its capital cost is costly compared to wind. The renewable energy system would provide reliable electricity while improving the quality as a result to closeness to generating source. The installation of renewable energy would positively impact the community since it is has the ability to change future of energy because it purposes to reduce interruptions and ensure continuous supply of electricity. Since Teesdale is a rural community. Different storage approaches would be deployed on the system. Below is a comparison of several energy storage techniques based on the energy density and volume figure.

Figure 2 - Comparison of Energy Storage Technologies (Luo et al., 2015)

In this case, off-grid solutions are useful when it comes to allowing maximum storage ability across a small area. In addition, a rechargeable and reliable system is suitable so as to achieve power density. Based on the comparisons, the appropriate storage approach is fuel cell and Lithium-ion battery. While fuel cell contains a small range of energy density, Lithium battery-ion has a larger range (Luo et al. 2015, p.525). Moreover, Lithium battery-ion has 100 percent usage ability and efficiency regardless of the discharge (Luo et al. 2015, p.520). Therefore, for the renewable energy system with distribution grid to achieve significant sustainable penetration and stability, energy storage is important. The suitable energy storage is the lithium-ion battery since it is efficient and contains flexible power density ranges. By and large, based on the technologies to achieve a sustainable system, different energy sources will be matched against the available resources in Teesdale community. For this reason, the possibility of hydro power is low while GHP is uncertain. Hence, the main renewable sources for this community will be wind and biomass Table 1.


Availability at Cockfield







Wave " Tidal




Table 1: Availability of Energy Sources

The benefits/waste reduction of the system

Renewable energy distribution system would be beneficial by decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, cut down carbon emissions and provide sustainable energy sources. The systems also allow the coordination different sites within the community. The systems covers a small scope, the distance between demand loads and generation sites is less contributing to reduced transmissions as well as distribution related losses (Gao 2015, p.7). This is advantageous because the system only permits reliable and robust energy supply as it can be separated from faults to increase penetration of sustainable energy sources (Gao 2015, p.12). Furthermore, the system is able to transform energy as it fosters local generation sources, increased participation of users, reduce transmission and distribution costs.                                                                                        The renewable energy system would also help the community in responding to climatic changes and increased oil prices and ultimately increase sustainability. The renewable energy system would integrate different sustainable sources originating within the community. This means that end users would be given an opportunity to supply energy, which will improve the economy of the community. Local generation of renewable energy will also provide job opportunities to the locals and community participation in energy decisions. Based on the needs of the community the sustainable energy design will integrate wind and biomass energy.                    Wind energy might be utilized to drive turbines. Nonetheless, as a result of irregular aspect of wind energy, there are deficiencies of about 45% of the energy demands. In particular, during winter nights there is no sun and probably no wind. In this case, renewable might be considered as supplements to outmoded energy supply such as coals. However, this will not resolve air pollution health issues within the community. Another option will be biomass to provide heat as well as electricity (Luo et al. 2015, p. 514).                                                   Biomass could be generated via a centralized facility or local Sterling engines distribution system. The latter is beneficial to the community when it comes to reduced energy costs, easy distribution, increased flexibility and low maintenance (Luo et al. 2015, p. 515). Generally, biomass would create job opportunities for locals as wood suppliers, which leads to independence. GHP is not suitable for this community because it can be a suitable energy source if it is electrically powered from a renewable system. Moreover, there might be inadequate supply of GHP. Another benefit of the system is that it uses a distributed generation structure with two-way transmission of energy. This means that users are consumers and producers of electricity. This distributed generation network is distinct from conventional one-way systems


The essay has highlighted a small rural community in England and demonstrated that there is a problem of inadequate energy supply. Communities located in previous industrial locations are vulnerable to inadequate fuel, poor health, high joblessness rates and mobility challenges. Teesdale community was investigated and it is clear that it has poor energy transition network. Power is distributed via power lines that are not effective during winter. Again, the community lacks gas supply, while petroleum and oil are costly and inaccessible. Teesdale is remote to the extent that upgrading networks to supply energy will be very costly.  Residents are former miners and use coals as the main source of energy.                                                           Besides, carbon emission, coal produces lead to public health issues. Hence, this paper designed renewable energy that does not need heavy infrastructural investments. Energy demand was based on comparison of different sources based on reliability and sustainability. Wind and biomass were selected as the appropriate energy sources and will account for 55% of energy demand by the community (Fankhauser 2013, p. 353). Wind will be generated mounted turbines. On the other hand, biomass would be generated by local biomass in a centralised facility to generate energy or Sterling engine   that uses fuel to produce electricity. Similarly, engaging the community is necessary to give their views about a reliable and clean energy source for the community and the residents are involved in decision making and in charge of the system.


Dodds, P.E. and McDowall, W., 2013. The future of the UK gas network. Journal of Energy Policy 60 pp.306-317.

Fankhauser, S., 2013. A practitioner's guide to a low-carbon economy: lessons from the UK.     Climate Policy, 13(3), pp.345-362

Gao, D. W., 2015. Chapter 1 – basic concepts and control architecture of Microgrids. In:                    Energy Storage for Sustainable Microgrid. s.l.: DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-803374       6.00001-9., p. 1–34.

Luo, X., Wang, J., Dooner, M. " Clarke, J., 2015. Overview of current development in             electrical energy storage technologies and the application potential in power system operation. Applied Energy, 137, pp. 511-536

Self, S.J., Reddy, B.V. and Rosen, M.A., 2013. Geothermal heat pump systems: Status review and comparison with other heating options. Applied Energy, 101, pp.341-348.

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