UCL Energy Institute


Uncertainty in Energy System Modelling

The broad aim of this PhD is to develop understanding of and techniques to manage the uncertainties surrounding future energy transitions.

Energy system modelling focuses on the interactions of technological, economic, environmental and energy factors to provide insights into energy transitions.  Careful use of such models can provide important contributions to the evidence base that underpin strategic policy decisions and that investors use to make investment decisions.  However, such analysis - and subsequent strategic decision making must be made under conditional of deep and interlinked uncertainty.

There are different types of uncertainty that affect decision making.  Some types of uncertainty can be quantified while others cannot.  Uncertainty in the structure of models may be more important than the uncertainty of inputs, although there are currently few studies investigating this in energy system models.  Alternative techniques to managing uncertainty will be explored, potentially to address any weaknesses of energy system models.



As a PhD, the main output will be a PhD thesis, various journal papers and conference papers.


Insights into managing uncertainties in energy system models may offer solutions to the growing community of energy system modellers who acknowledge the existence of deep uncertainties, but have neither the tools nor the expertise to explore them.

The student, Will Usher, will have the opportunity to work with EdF Energy particularly to provide some very long-term system wide context for other research within the company and potentially at a strategic level.