Years Active: 2004-2009
Modelling quantifies and provides insights into UK and international energy policies, and dominates the international debate on the costs of climate change mitigation. The primary goal of the Energy Systems and Modelling (ESM) theme was to bring together the best modelling expertise in the UK and integrate it into a world-class research effort.
This theme was led by Professor Paul Ekins, currently Professor of Energy and Environment Policy at University College London (UCL).
This research theme, run by King's College London (KCL) and the University of Cambridge's 4CMR (Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research) in the latter part of UKERC Phase I, sought to integrate previous work into a whole-systems approach, which we termed energy-environment-engineering-economy ("E4") modelling.
In the first three years of UKERC Phase I, the ESM theme established a comprehensive UK E4 modelling capability. Full and updated working versions of major UK modelling tools were developed, notably the technology focused energy systems MARKAL, MARKAL Elastic Demand (MED) and MARKAL-Macro models, and the macro-economic MDM-E3 model.
These models were used to address a range of UK energy policy issues including long-term carbon reductions, the role of innovation in the future energy system, the development of hydrogen infrastructures, and the uptake of energy efficiency technologies and measures.
The ESM theme also started to combine "bottom-up" and "top-down" methods in a hybrid modelling approach. Complementary research focused on the analytical underpinnings of future energy scenarios, the role of innovation, and the systematic treatment of uncertainty.
KCL and 4CMR researchers provided key inputs to major UK and international energy reports and policy processes. These included:
- The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change
- The 2007 Energy White Paper
- The UK Climate Change Bill which was enacted in 2008
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: 4th Assessment Report (lead author for Chapter 3 of the WG-III report on mitigation)
- The Japan-UK Low Carbon Society research project associated with the G8 Gleneagles Dialogue
- International energy-economic networks including the Innovation Modelling Comparison Project (IMCP), the IEA’s Energy Technology and Systems Analysis Programme (ETSAP), and the Stanford Energy Modelling Forum (EMF)
In addition, ESM theme members played a central role in the UKERC 2050 project, which aimed to show how the UK could move towards a resilient low-carbon energy system over the next forty years. Under the UKERC Energy 2050 project, the MDM-E3 and MARKAL Elastic Demand (MED) models were utilised to quantify a range of long-term energy scenarios of climate mitigation and energy security.
All the working papers and research reports produced by this theme can be found in the UKERC Publications Library.
Related Publications (4)
This report the synthesis of the UKERC Energy 2050 project addresses two of the Government's toughest energy policy goals – delivering reliable energy to consumers while meeting its legal commitment to reduce C02 emissions by 80% by 2050. Key conclusions are the UK electricity sector must be decarbonised by 2050, by which time oil use will be virtually eliminated, tougher energy efficiency measures could reduce exposure to volatile energy markets, buying time before full decarbonisation.
This Working Paper explores ways of enhancing the “resilience” of the UK energy system to withstand external shocks and examines how such measures interact with those designed to reduce CO2 emissions. The concept of resilience explored and a set of “indicators” is developed to define quantitatively the characteristics of a resilient energy system.
This report is the first in the UKERC Energy 2050 project series. It focuses on a range of low carbon scenarios underpinned by energy systems analysis using the newly developed and updated UK MARKAL elastic demand (MED) model. Such modelling is designed to develop insights on a range of scenarios of future energy system evolution and the resultant technology pathways, sectoral trade-offs and economic implications.
This report focuses on a range of low-carbon scenarios underpinned by energy systems analysis using the newly developed and updated UK MARKAL elastic demand (MED) model. Such modelling is designed to develop insights on a range of scenarios of future energy system evolution and the resultant technology pathways, sectoral trade-offs and economic implications.
UKERC Event, 9:00 AM - 5:00 AM, 30 April 2009