17:30 - 19:00 21 May 2013
Location: UCL Energy Institute
Energy policy across the globe is grappling with a set of unprecedented challenges. The UK Government has set in place highly ambitious policies to reduce greenhouse gases, but this profound restructuring of the energy economy must also meet other core UK energy policy goals, notably secure, robust and affordable energy supply.
Energy models provide the essential quantitative insights into these 21st Century challenges of decarbonisation, energy security and cost-effectiveness. Models provide the integrating language and framework that assists energy policy makers to make improved decisions and trade-offs in conditions of pervasive uncertainty. Despite this fundamental underpinning role, the UK has not had a national strategic energy modelling activity. Models and systems analysis have historically developed on a fragmented, reactive and ad-hoc basis. Partially addressing this, the new whole systems energy modelling (wholeSEM) consortium – led by UCL – represents a ground-breaking opportunity to develop new models and link modelling frameworks in innovative ways to answer new research questions.
This seminar will open the black box of energy modelling and peer inside. We will explore the ethos and intellectual underpinnings of building state-of the-art energy models, what insights models can (and cannot) provide, and how they continue to underpin the energy policy process.
About the speaker
Professor Neil Strachan is an interdisciplinary energy economist. He is a Professor of Energy Economics and Modelling at the University College London (UCL) Energy Institute where he also serves as Director of Teaching. He received his PhD in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University in 2000. At the UCL Energy Institute, Neil's research interests revolve around energy-environment-economic modelling, the quantification of scenarios and transitions pathways, and interdisciplinary issues in energy economics and policy. Over the last 7 years he has been principal or co-investigator on research projects worth over £9 million. He is a lead author of the Energy Systems chapter of the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report. He is the author of over 30 peer reviewed journal papers, and over 100 book chapters and technical reports.