UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Energy system transitions to achieve net-zero

river, pylons and turbines

What we do

Our aim is to understand how we, as societies around the world, can transform our economies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.  We identify long-term global transition scenarios and explore the roles of new technologies in these scenarios.  We are keen to understand how transitions can be designed to be both affordable and just, and how behavioural change might contribute.  We are also investigating the extent to which the costs of a transition can be justified in terms of climate change damage and adaptation costs, and co-benefits of mitigation such as improved air quality.

Our work

We use sophisticated UK, regional and global energy system optimisation models to identify viable energy system transitions.  This research is carried out with the UCL Energy Modelling Lab.  Our models include UK TIMES, which we jointly develop with the UK Government, and the TIAM-UCL global integrated assessment model.  We have a longstanding hydrogen energy research programme that has examined both mobility and stationary applications.   We also have a strong focus on bioenergy and negative emission technologies.  In energy storage and interconnection projects, we have explored the relative benefits of energy storage, grid reinforcement, interconnection and demand-side response for electricity system balancing.


Paul Dodds
Professor in Energy Systems
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Paul Drummond
Senior Research Associate
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Jim Watson
Professor of Energy Policy
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Michael Grubb
Deputy Director
Professor of International Energy and Climate Change Policy
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Oliver Broad  
Senior Research Fellow
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Matthew Winning
Research Associate
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Daniel Scamman
Senior Research Associate in Hydrogen Systems Policy
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Will McDowall
Associate Professor
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Nick Hughes
Research Associate
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Dr Isabella Butnar
Senior Researcher in Bioenergy Systems
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