UKERC Energy Strategies Under Uncertainty - An Integrated Systematic Analysis of Uncertainties in UK Energy Transition Pathways

01 Apr 2014
Energy Strategies Under Uncertainty

Policy goals to transition national energy systems to meet decarbonisation and security goals must contend with multiple overlapping uncertainties. These uncertainties are pervasive through the complex nature of the system, and exist in a strategic policy area where the impact of investment decisions have long term consequences. Uncertainty also lies in the tools and approaches used, increasing the challenges of informing robust decision making. Energy system studies in the UK have tended not to address uncertainty in a systematic manner, relying on simple scenario or sensitivity analysis.

This paper utilises an innovative energy system model, ESME, which characterises multiple uncertainties via probability distributions and propagates these uncertainties to explore trade-offs in cost effective energy transition scenarios. A global sensitivity analysis is then undertaken to explore the uncertainties that have most impact in the long term mitigation pathways. This work was undertaken as part of the UK Energy Strategies Under Uncertainty project.