UCL Energy Institute


Professor Mark Barrett's Inaugural Lecture: Swimming in the Energy and Environment River

06 June 2017, 5:30 pm–7:30 pm

Mark Barrett Inaugural

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UCL Energy Institute



The 1960s and 1970s saw increasing global environmental concern about biodiversity, acid rain, air pollution, nuclear materials and natural resource limits, as well as political events causing oil supply crises. In the 1980s, global warming gained a higher profile. Meanwhile, nuclear war was a terrifying backdrop throughout this period. As any casual sampling of news will show, these problems persist to this day though some are reduced and some increased.

This lecture will concern one individual swimming for decades in the river of energy and environment history, working for a number of governmental and non-governmental bodies, and trying to find solutions to these problems at different scales. This ‘riverine life encountered’ includes energy efficiency, renewables, emission control, road transport, aircraft, ships, energy trade, heat pumps, district heating, storage, and nuclear attack.

Set in the larger flow of political history, the tragicomic story will also maintain a methodological theme covering computer modelling of energy, economics, emission and health as applied these problem areas.

About the speaker

Professor Mark Barrett, UCL Energy Institute

Mark is Professor of Energy and Environmental Systems Modelling at the UCL Energy Institute, and company director. He has a BSc in Physics and Philosophy and a PhD in Energy Modelling. He has forty years’ experience of modelling energy and transport systems and atmospheric emissions. He has developed a number of national scale models of energy demand in the stationary and transport (land, sea and air) sectors, and conventional and renewable supply, and used these to design low cost systems to enhance energy security and reduce emissions. He has also developed detailed electricity models of demand, supply, emissions and costs, both for national systems and for international trade. These models have been applied at international and local level in Europe and Asia working with a range of national and local government agencies, private companies and consultancies, and non-governmental and environmental organisations. His models have been commercialised and used by National Grid and Western Power Distribution. A recent project role was as technical director of an Innovate funded project to produce a city energy and environment model. His current focus is the development of a high resolution spatiotemporal energy model for Europe to optimise storage and transmission.