Prof Jim Watson
Professor of Energy Policy
Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources
Faculty of the Built Environment
- Joined UCL
- 15th Jun 2018
- Leadership of major research programmes on the UK energy transition including the UK Energy Research Centre (2013 - 2019)
- Expertise on energy policy, energy system change and energy security
- Innovation policies in the UK and other countries
- Economic and policy research on specific low carbon technologies and systems, including carbon capture and storage and decentralised energy technologies
- Leadership of research on low carbon transitions and innovation in developing countries
- Energy futures and policies in China
Current PhD students:
- Lobna Ahmed on modelling urban sustainability
- Carolina Campos on indicators for biodiversity
- Irene Maffini on finance and low carbon innovation (UKERC studentship)
- Giulia Ragosa on the political economy of electricity market reform and renewables integration
- Asha Singh on energy transitions in Nepal
Completed PhD students:
- Anna Watson (2021) 'Accelerating Low Carbon Innovation: National Institutions and Effective Organisation Design'
- Emily Cox (2017) 'Assessing energy security in a low-carbon context. The case of electricity in the UK'
- Jonathan Dolley (2016) 'Sustainability, resilience and governance of an urban food system: a case study of peri-urban Wuhan'
- Tammy-Ann Sharp (2014) 'Exploring the potential impacts of Carbon, Capture and Storages Technologies on the Diversity of the UK electricity system to 2050'
- Jose Opazo (2014): 'The politics of systems innovation for emerging technologies: understanding the uptake of off-grid renewable electricity in rural Chile'
- Jenny Lieu (2013): 'Influences of policy learning, transfer and post transfer learning in the development of China’s wind power sector'
- Dierk Bauknecht (2011): 'Transforming the Grid: Electricity system governance and network integration of distributed generation'
- Mehdi Majidpour (2011): 'The Dynamics of Technological Catching-up: The Case of Iran’s Gas Turbine Industry'
- Rudi Haum (2011): 'Transfer of Low-Carbon Technology under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: The Case of the Global Environment Facility and its Market Transformation Approach in India'
- Zeeda Fatimah Mohamad (2009): 'The role of universities in national catching-up strategies: fuel cell technology in Malaysia and Singapore'
I am Professor of Energy Policy and Director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources; and Research Director of the FCDO Climate Compatible Growth programme.
I am also an Associate Faculty at SPRU, University of Sussex where I worked from 1993-2018. From Dec 2008 to Jan 2013, I was Director of SPRU's Sussex Energy Group. I was also Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre from Feb 2013, and was its Director from January 2015 until December 2019.
I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences; a member of the Executive Committee of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement; and a judge for the Queens Awards for Enterprise: Sustainable Development. In November 2020, I was appointed to chair the Technical Advisory Group to the World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP).
I have over twenty years of research experience on climate change, energy and innovation policy. I have been a specialist adviser to three Parliamentary committees: the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee on energy security; the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on climate change (including the draft Climate Change Bill); and the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on the resilience of electricity infrastructure.
Previous advisory roles include expert lead with Climate Assembly UK: the UK's national citizen's assembly on climate change (2019-20); DECC and Defra's social science expert panel (2012-16); Council Member of the British Institute for Energy Economics (2004-16); Nuffield Council on Bioethics working party on new approaches to biofuels (2009-11); Lead Expert with the UK government Foresight project on Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment (2007-2009); and the IPPR New Era Economics panel (2010-12).
International roles include: Panel Member, Academy of Sciences of South Africa consensus study on Green Technologies in South Africa (2012-14); and Visiting Scholar, Energy Technology Innovation Policy group, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2008).