The UK's decarbonisation strategy to increasingly electrify heating and transport will change the demand requirement on the electricity system. Additionally, under a climate change future, it is projected that the decarbonised grid will need to be able to operate under higher average temperatures in the UK, increasing the need for comfort cooling during summer and leading to additional electricity demand. These new demands will result in greater variation between minimum and peak demand as well as a significant increase in overall demand. Concurrently, supply-side decarbonisation programmes may lead to more intermittent renewables such as wind, PV, tidal and wave, elevating variability in electricity generation. Coupled with the anticipated higher variation in demand this brings on several challenges in operating the electricity grid.In order to characterise these challenges this research develops a bespoke electricity dispatch model which builds on hourly models of demand and generation. The hourly demand profiles are based on a high electrification of heating, transport and cooling coupled with future temperatures premised on the UKCP09 high emission scenario climate projections. The demand profiles show a significant increase in peak demand by 2050 reaching 194 GW, mainly due to summer cooling loads which contribute 70% of the demand. The cumulative CO2 emissions budgets of the GB power sector that are consistent with avoiding global climate change to 2°C are used to develop two low carbon generation scenarios distinguished by the amount of intermittent renewable generation technologies. The dispatch model tests the capability of generation scenarios with the use of hourly generation models in meeting future demand profiles out to 2050.The outputs from dispatch model indicate that there are shortages and excesses of generation relative to demand from 2030 onwards. The variability analysis outlines low and high generation periods from intermittent technologies along with the pace at which intermittent generation increases or decreases within an hour. The characterisation of variability analysis reveals the type of reserve capacity or smart solutions that are required to maintain the security of electricity supply. The solutions that could address the challenges quantified from the model outputs in operating a decarbonised GB electricity grid are explored using expert interviews.The analysis of the stakeholder interviews suggests smart grid solutions that include technologies as well as changes in operational procedures in order to enhance the operational resilience of the grid. Active Network Management through monitoring and control, demand management, storage systems and interconnectors are proposed to address challenges arising from varying demand and generation variability.