UKERC Research



What do we know?  A few of the insights arising from UKERC research  

We carry out world-class research into sustainable future energy systems.  This research is interdisciplinary and takes a whole systems approach to inform UK policy development and UK research strategy.

Download our Research Outline for information on UKERC research activity for 2009-2014.

All UKERC outputs are available to download from our Publications Catalogue.

The research programme is framed by the challenges of a changing energy agenda driven by environmental and security concerns:
  • Driving systemic change in the energy sector
  • Managing environmental impacts
  • Enhancing energy security and resilience

These challenges are being addressed by drawing on competences within and across the five research themes below.



Research Themes

UKERC's research objectives are being addressed within five  broad themes, within which a number of co-ordinated, interdisciplinary projects are taking place:  

Energy Demand

The objectives of the theme are to research how socio-economic and technical change affect energy demand in the UK, and to apply this to the need for more radical change to respond to climate and energy security challenges.

Energy Supply

The aim of the Energy Supply theme is to investigate UK energy supply to 2050, taking into account the radical developments being put in place from 2020 onwards.

The team are investigating options for longer term decarbonisation, while recognising the long life-time of energy assets and the need for a smooth trajectory of change.  

Energy and Environment

The overall aim of the Energy and environment theme is to gain a better understanding of the extent to which exploitation of land based and marine renewable energy resources may undermine or change delivery of essential ecosystem services.

This extends to consideration of the global impact of the UK carbon footprint of energy production and carbon abatement technologies.

Energy Systems

The overall aim of the Energy Systems theme is to make a world-class contribution to energy system modelling by showing how the UK, in a range of global contexts, could achieve its carbon targets and increase its energy system resilience over the period 2020-2050, and exploring the associated economic and environmental implications.

Technology and Policy Assessment

The Technology and Policy Assessment (TPA) function was established to meet demand from policymakers, industry and other stakeholders for independent, policy-relevant assessments that address key issues and controversies in the energy field.

The TPA team draws on existing energy research to develop accessible, credible and authoritative reports relevant to policymakers, other stakeholders and wider public debate.

Download summaries of the research projects being undertaken in our five research themes: 


UKERC Phase II Flagship Projects

UKERC Phase II Research is being integrated into two distinct but overlapping projects Energy Strategy Under Uncertainty and UK Energy in a Global Context.

Both address decision making and policy implementation to 2030, but with regard for the UK and international community's longer term energy and climate policy objectives and ambitions. More information can be found here.

Research Fund

50% of the Research Programme budget supports UKERC’s core research programme, The remainder is targeted at a competitively-bid Research Fund.

The Research Fund is intended to augment the core programme while allowing us to respond to emerging developments in research or policy.

Research Co-ordination

The research co-ordination team are: Prof Jim Watson (Research DIrector), Dr Mark Winskel (Research Co-ordinator), and Ioanna Ketsopoulou (Research Assistant).

The team has responsibility for:

  • ensuring UKERC’s research projects contribute to the overall research strategy
  • encouraging and supporting cross-Centre research projects
  • supporting the Research Committee in taking forward the Research Fund
  • developing a cross-Centre publications strategy

UKERC Phase I 2004-2009

New theme base images UKERC was established in 2004 with five years' funding. During this phase of activity, the Centre organised its research into the following themes:

The most ambitious cross-theme project was UKERC Energy 2050, launched in April 2009.

The report addressed two of the Government's toughest energy policy goals – delivering reliable energy to consumers while meeting its legal commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. An Earthscan book has now been published, based on the work of the Energy 2050 project.

If you have any questions on our research activity, call +44 (0) 20 7594 1574 or email ioanna.ketsopoulou@ukerc.ac.uk