Key Contact: Dr Gabrial Anandarajah (University College, London)
This project involves analysis of accelerated decarbonisation of the global E3 (energy-environment-economy) system from 2000 through to 2050, with a comprehensive investigation of the costs and benefits of the different decarbonisation options. This involves the construction of the global TIAM-UCL model (built on the TIMES modelling platform, which is the successor to the MARKAL platform) with a dedicated UK region. Key research questions include the impact on the UK of global resource flows, international emissions trading, and global technology innovation.
Anandarajah G., McDowall W., Ekins P. (2013) Decarbonising road transport with hydrogen and electricity: Long term global technology learning scenarios, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 38(8): 3419–3432
Kesicki F., Strachan N. (2011), Marginal abatement cost (MAC) curves: confronting theory and practice, Environmental Science and Policy, 14: 1195–1204
Kesicki F., Anandarajah G. (2011), The role of energy-service demand reduction in global climate change mitigation: Combining energy modelling and decomposition analysis, Energy Policy, 39(11): 7224-7233
Pye S., Strachan N., Anandarajah G. Usher W. (2010) The UK energy system in an uncertain world: insights from different modelling scales, International Energy Workshop 2010, Stockholm, Sweden
Usher W., Anandarajah G., Strachan N., (2010), The TIAM-UCL Global Energy Systems Model: Critical Comparison of UK and Global Climate Decarbonisation Trajectories, BIEE 2010, Oxford, United Kingdom
Anandarajah G., Kesicki F. (2010) Global Climate Change Mitigation: What is the role of demand reduction?, International Association of Energy Economics Europe 2010, Vilnius, Lithuania
Key contact: Professor Paul Ekins (University College, London)
This project involves analysis of UK use of oil, gas and coal from 2020 through to 2050 under different global contexts, in terms of energy security, and how this might be affected by varying degrees of decarbonisation of the UK energy system; investigation of the greater use of biomass fuels for heating and transport.
McGlade, C. Speirs, J. Sorrell, S. (2013) Unconventional gas - a review of regional and global resource estimates, Energy, in press
McGlade C. (2012) A review of the uncertainties in estimates of global oil resources, Energy, 47: 262-270
Anandarajah, G. and McGlade, C (2012) Energy economic and environmental implications of unconventional gas: A long term perspective, IEW2012, Cape Town, South Africa
McGlade C. (2011) Uncertainties in the long-term availability of crude oil, 34th IAEE International Conference, Stockholm
McGlade C. (2010) Uncertainties in estimating remaining recoverable resources of conventional oil, 29th USAEE Conference, Calgary (Student best paper runner-up prize)
This project involves analysis of energy system uncertainties such as those affecting oil prices, the viability of key technology classes (e.g. CCS), changing policies and/or consumer preferences etc. This will be carried out using a range of modelling approaches including staged optimisation and stochastic hedging strategies the UK MARKAL model family, and analysis via probabilistic input models including the Anderson model as used in the Stern Review.
Hughes N., R. Gross and N. Strachan (2012), The structure of uncertainty in future low carbon pathways, Energy Policy, 52: 45-54
Usher W. and N. Strachan (2012), An expert elicitation of climate, energy and economic uncertainties, The Energy Journal, submitted
Usher W. and N. Strachan (2012), Critical mid-term uncertainties in long-term decarbonisation pathways, Energy Policy, 41: 433-444
Strachan N. and W. Usher (2012), Failure to achieve stringent carbon reduction targets in a second-best policy world, Climatic Change, in press
Usher W. and N. Strachan (2012) A Comparison of Key Energy Policy Uncertainties: Expert Beliefs versus Model Parameters, IEW2012, Cape Town, South Africa
Usher W., Strachan N. (2010) UK MARKAL Modelling - Examining Decarbonisation Pathways in the 2020s on the Way to Meeting the 2050 Emissions Target, Report for the CCC 4th budget report, Committee on Climate Change. http://www.theccc.org.uk/reports/fourth-carbon-budget/supporting-research
Strachan N. and W. Usher (2010), Stochastic modelling of critical uncertainties in UK long-term decarbonisation pathways, BIEE, Oxford, September 2010
Project ESys.4 Update of UK Energy 2050 Scenarios
Key contact: Dr Ilkka Keppo (University College, London)
This project has updated the UK Energy 2050 scenarios using the most recent version of the UK MARKAL model. The new UKERC scenarios are already being used by a range of UKERC Core and Research Fund groups.
A UKERC research report was launched in March 2013 which compares the most recent UKERC MARKAL low-carbon scenarios with those produced with earlier versions of the model for UKERC (Energy 2050), the Committee on Climate Change and the Government (Carbon Plan).
Ekins P., Keppo I., Skea J., Strachan N., Usher W. and Anandarajah G. (2013) The UK Energy System in 2050: Comparing Low-Carbon Resilient Scenarios, UKERC Research Report RR/ESY/2013/001, UKERC, London
Project ESys.5 UK TIMES model
Key contact: Dr Paul Dodds (University College, London)
This project is developing a new UK energy system model, UK TIMES, to replace the UK MARKAL model that has been used for research and policy analysis for the last 10 years. UK TIMES will represent all UK greenhouse gas emissions for the first time. It will bring together a large number of UK MARKAL updates that have been produced from UKERC and other projects over the last two years. The model will be transparent and fully documented. The targeted completion date of the first version is July 2013, for presentation at the UKERC Annual Assembly.
Dodds, P. (2012) Development of the UK TIMES model: learning the lessons of the past, at the ETSAP semi-annual workshop, Lisbon, Portugal, December 2012.
Project ESys.6 ETM-UCL model
Key contact: Baltazar Solano Rodriguez (University College, London)
This project is developing an 11-region EU energy system model for use in a range of projects. ETM-UCL is the European TIMES Model developed by UCL.
Key contact: Dr Ilkka Keppo (University College London)
UKERC has produced a series of long-term scenarios of energy system development over the last 9 years and these have been of great interest to policymakers. This project will reflect on the process of scenario production and examine the communication of scenario results. It aims to answer 3 questions:
- what are the drivers and motivations of those who construct scenarios, and how are these scenarios then constructed, understood and interpreted by those same people?
- how is this communicated to users and how does this influence the way in which the scenarios are eventually used?
- how can we learn from both past and present practice—particularly within UKERC Systems and Modelling projects—to improve the way in which scenarios are communicated and used?
Key contact: Dr Gabrial Anandarajah (University College London)
The ‘shale gas revolution’ has had profound impacts on the outlook and potential role of natural gas in the future energy system – with many analysts and organisations now viewing natural gas as an attractive ‘bridge’ to a low carbon energy system. This project is investigating under what circumstances, in what regions, and to what extent can shale gas be a bridge to a low carbon energy system?
The following are inter-theme projects between Energy Systems and other UKERC themes.
Key contact: Hannah Daly (University College London)
This project is using a novel modelling project to iteratively link an energy systems model and an input-output model, to investigate the indirect carbon impacts of key technologies and resources. By assessing different mitigations portfolios on a fuller emissions basis, we will be able to investigate a “true emissions accounting” for long term UK (-80%) CO2 target.
Project ESys.10: Industrial energy demand
Key contact: Professor Neil Strachan (University College London)
This project is building on the core industrial demand part of the Energy Demand theme to improve the representation of the industrial sector in the UK TIMES model.
The following projects are supported by UKERC's Research Fund and sit within the Energy Systems theme.
Project ESys.13: The Geopolitical Economy of Global Gas Security and Governance: Implications for the UK
Key contact: Professor Michael Bradshaw, University of Leicester
It is critical to the UK's energy security to develop a clear understanding of the geopolitical drivers, governance challenges and risks shaping current and future global gas security through to the lat 2020s and beyond.
Bradshaw M., Bridge G., Bouzarovski S., Dutton J. (2013), 'Globalising Gas': developing a GPN approach for understanding organisational and geographical integration in the international natural gas industry, (working paper)
Dutton J. (2013) Challenges to the Shale Gas Revolution, in Bakshi V., Milner Casgrain F. (eds.) Shale Gas: A Practitioner’s Guide to Shale Gas & Other Unconventional Resources, Globe Law & Business, London , 143-155.
Dutton J. (2012), Public policy and public opinion on shale gas development, in Bakshi V., Milner Casgrain F. (eds.) Shale Gas: A Practitioner’s Guide to Shale Gas & Other Unconventional Resources, Globe Law & Business, London, 143-155.
Key contact: Professor Simon Pollard, Cranfield University
The aim of this research project is to develop a multi-criteria framework that employs an analytic-deliberative approach to identify and assess risks and uncertainties derived from various future pathways and scenarios.
The following projects have been completed.
Key contact: Professor Jim Watson (Sussex Energy Group)
This project conducted an independent, inter-disciplinary assessment of CCS viability to 2030. The partners were the Universities of Sussex, Edinburgh and Imperial College London, in close co-operation with research user organisations. This project was supported through the Research Fund and ran from April 2010 to April 2012.
Markusson, N., F. Kern, et al. (2012). A socio-technical framework for assessing the viability of carbon capture and storage technology, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, In press; doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2011.12.001
Markusson, N., Shackley, S and Evar, B. (Eds), The social dynamics of carbon capture and storage: Understanding representation, governance and innovation, Earthscan (forthcoming)
Key contact: Professor Derek Bunn, London Business School
The objective of this project is to develop a high-level, decision-analytic framework within which to assess UK energy decarbonisation options.
Part of the research within the energy systems theme comprise the development and maintenance of a portfolio of energy system models. The models used at UCL are all described at the UCL Energy Institute Models website, where you can find comprehensive documentation, publications and other useful information.
Models supported by UKERC include: