UCL Energy Institute


UCL-Energy makes important contribution to Committee on Climate Change's 4th Budget Report

4 January 2011

The UCL Energy Institute contributed a significant body of supporting research to the 4th Budget Report recently published by the Committee on Climate Change.

William Usher and Dr Neil Strachan have spent the past year conducting research into options for decarbonising the United Kingdom under deep uncertainty.  The particular focus of this project was to provide a number of scenarios to support the setting of the 4th Carbon Budget (2023 to 2027).  To deliver this, UCL have developed a stochastic variant of the well-known UK MARKAL model, which allows the quantification and analysis of the many uncertainties surrounding future energy systems.

Building on a strong academic foundation, as well as new research, the project further extended the UK MARKAL model to include novel mitigation options in the industrial sector, bio-methane, a better characterisation of CHP technologies as well as a more detailed portrayal of existing policy measures.  Thirty two different scenarios give a detailed insight into how the UK may be able to reach deep decarbonisation targets, showing the trade-offs, welfare costs and technological implications of such challenging action.

The project highlighted the following themes: the importance of external drivers under which energy policy is made; the elements of change required and robust technology choices to meet deep decarbonisation targets; the importance of learning about mitigation options for smaller, under-researched emission sources; and the large variation in welfare costs across the scenarios.