UCL Energy Institute


Energy Systems

The Energy Systems theme at UCL-Energy is the largest academic centre of energy systems modelling knowledge in the UK, with a reputation in the field that has global reach.

Energy Systems

The highly interdisciplinary team does research focusing on the interactions of different energy system elements, across a wide range of geographical scales (UK, EU, the World), with different tools focusing on different elements of the system (technology, economy, environment & climate change). The theme includes four academics and 14 research staff and is led by Dr Ilkka Keppo.

Recent projects


Neil Strachan
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Gabrial Ananandarajah
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Ilkka Keppo
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Paul Dodds
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Steve Pye
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Olivier Dessens
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Marianne Zeyringer
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James Price
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Francis Li
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Matthew Winning
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Baltazar Solano
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Oliver Broad
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Nawfal Saadi Failali
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Isabela Butnar
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Daniel Scamman
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Anthony Velazquez Abad
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Giorgio Castagneto Gissey
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Pei-Hao Li
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Rachel Freeman
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Project details

A collaborative research initiative aiming to bring socio-technical energy transition (STET) ideas into use within real world decision-making in the UK.

Funding Body: EPSRC
Principal Investigator: Professor Neil Strachan

The UK Research Council’s flagship research initiative to develop, integrate and apply state-of-the-art energy models.

Funding Body: EPSRC
Principal Investigator: Professor Neil Strachan

This project aims to understand how novel energy storage technologies might best be integrated into an evolving, lower-carbon UK energy system in the future.

Funding Body: EPSRC
Principal Investigator: Dr Paul Dodds

A Horizon 2020 project focusing on modelling an EU wide transition of the energy system, with a special focus on assessing also the impacts of such a transition.

Funding Body: European Commission (H2020)
Principle Investigator: Dr Ilkka Keppo

An international consortium to develop a new generation of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) for the analysis of climate change mitigation policies.

Funding Body: European Commission (FP7)
Principal Investigator: Professor Neil Strachan

The UK’s largest energy policy and research consortium. The UCL team focuses on the current and future roles of different resources and energy vectors in the UK energy system.

Funding Body: EPSRC
Principal Investigator: Professor Paul Ekins

The EU funded project aims to provide a set of credible, coherent, global and regional views of different worlds at 2, 4 and 6°C, and 1.5°C.

Funding Body: European Commission (FP7)
Principal Investigator: Dr Oliver Dessens

Bio-value Energy Chains
Whole systems analysis and optimisation to understand the potential and risks of different biomass technologies and supply chains.

Funding Body: EPSRC
Principcal Investigator: Professor Paul Ekins

A Think Tank for the European Commission that provides unbiased policy advice and insights into policy options and assessing potential impact.

Funding Body: European Commission (FP7)
Principal Investigator: Neil Strachan

A four-year EU-funded research project that aims to work with key economic and societal actors to generate new, state-of-the-art low-carbon pathways for the European Union.

Funding Body: European Commission (H2020)
Principal Investigator: Professor Paul Ekins

The HYVE (Hydrogen’s Value in the Energy System) project aims to find out how hydrogen might contribute to a transition to a low carbon economy.

Funding Body: EPSRC
Principal Investigator: Professor Paul Ekins

Energy Pathway Uncertainties
An ETI funded project to investigate and extend the uncertainty capabilities of their Energy Systems Modelling Environment (ESME) model for long terms decarbonisation pathways.

Funding Body: ETI
Principal Investigator: Steve Pye

The project aims to contribute to technology development that will help the UK to meet its ambitious carbon emissions targets by studying and exploiting the impact of hydrogen and fuel cells in low carbon energy landscape.

Funding Body: EPSRC
Principal Investigator: Professor Paul Ekins

The project aims to assess the role of bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) in energy system scenarios, evaluate the plausibility of assumptions that are made and estimate broader impacts for resource requirement and ecosystem services

Funding Body: EPSRC
Principal Investigator: Professor Neil Strachan

Modelling the Political, Societal and Regulatory Implementation of the UK Energy System Decarbonisation Transition (MPSRI Transitions)
A scoping study to better model and analyse the critical societal and political drivers and feedbacks of the low carbon energy transition.

Funding Body: EPSRC
Principal Investigator: Professor Neil Strachan

Recent Outputs

DeCarolis, J., Daly, H., Dodds, P., Keppo, I., Li, F., McDowall, W., Pye, S., Strachan, N., Trutnevyte, E., Usher, W., Winning, M., Yeh, S. & Zeyringer, M. (2017) Formalizing best practice for energy system optimization modelling. Applied Energy, 194, 184-198. ISSN 0306-2619. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.03.001.

Dessens, O., Anandarajah, G., & Gambhir, A. (2016). Limiting global warming to 2 °C: What do the latest mitigation studies tell us about costs, technologies and other impacts?. Energy Strategy Reviews, 13-14, 67-76. doi:10.1016/j.esr.2016.08.004

Dodds, P. E., Keppo, I., & Strachan, N. (2015). Characterising the Evolution of Energy System Models Using Model Archaeology. Environmental Modeling and Assessment, 20 (2), 83-102. doi:10.1007/s10666-014- 9417-3.

Fais, B., Sabio, N., & Strachan, N. (2016). The critical role of the industrial sector in reaching long-term emission reduction, energy ef ciency and renewable targets. Applied Energy, 162, 699-712. doi:10.1016/j. apenergy.2015.10.112

Fais, B., Keppo, I., Zeyringer, M., Usher, W., & Daly, H. (2016). Impact of technology uncertainty on future low-carbon pathways in the UK. Energy Strategy Reviews, 13-14, 154-168. doi:10.1016/j.esr.2016.09.005

Li, F. G. N. (2017). Actors behaving badly: Exploring the modelling of non-optimal behaviour in energy transitions. Energy Strategy Reviews, 15, 57-71. doi:10.1016/j.esr.2017.01.002

Li, F. G. N., Pye, S., & Strachan, N. (2016). Regional winners and losers in future UK energy system transitions. Energy Strategy Reviews, 13-14, 11-31. doi:10.1016/j.esr.2016.08.002

Li, F. G. N., & Trutnevyte, E. (2016). Investment appraisal of cost-optimal and near-optimal pathways for the UK electricity sector transition to 2050. Applied Energy, 189, 89-109. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.12.047

Lott, M. C., Pye, S., & Dodds, P. E. (2016). Quantifying the co-impacts of energy sector decarbonisation on outdoor air pollution in the United Kingdom. Energy Policy. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2016.11.028

Marangoni, G., Tavoni, M., Bosetti, V., Borgonovo, E., Capros, P., Fricko, O., Gernaat, D.E.H.J., Guivarch, C., Havlik, P., Huppmann, D., Johnson, N., Karkatsoulis, P., Keppo, I., Krey, V., Ó Broin, E., Price, J., Van Vuuren, D.P. (2017)
Sensitivity of projected long-term CO 2 emissions across the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways  Nature Climate Change,7 (2),  113-117. doi: 10.1038/nclimate3199

Pye, S., McGlade, C., Bataille, C., Anandarajah, G., Denis- Ryan, A., and Potashnikov, V. (2016). Exploring national decarbonization pathways and global energy trade  ows: a multi-scale analysis. Climate Policy, 16.

Price, J., & Keppo, I. (2017). Modelling to generate alternatives: A technique to explore uncertainty in energy-environment-economy models. Applied Energy, 195, 356-369. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.03.065

Pye, S., Li, F. G. N., Price, J., & Fais, B. (2017). Achieving net-zero emissions through the reframing of UK national targets in the post-Paris Agreement era. Nature Energy, 2, 17024. doi:10.1038/nenergy.2017.24

Trutnevyte, E., McDowall, W., Tomei, J., & Keppo, I. (2016). Energy scenario choices: Insights from a retrospective review of UK energy futures. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 55, 326-337. doi:10.1016/j. rser.2015.10.067