UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources

Prof Michael Grubb

Prof Michael Grubb

Professor of Energy and Climate Change

Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
26th May 2014

Research summary

My research and experience have grouped broadly around four main themes:

  • Energy innovation, with emphasis upon the innovation process in the energy sector, particularly in relation to renewable sources and the design of efficient and effect market structures and support systems
  • Integration of renewable electricity sources into electricity systems and associated issues of system management, security and capacity adequacy, particularly as applied to UK system and interconnection
  • Carbon pricing and emissions trading systems, including design of the EU ETS and industrial competitiveness and the international coordination and development of carbon pricing systems
  • International climate change responses more broadly including the UNFCCC negotiations, the Kyoto Protocol and its ‘Flexibility Mechanisms’, and the wider challenges of international cooperation including of course implementation of the Paris Agreement.

An additional and rising area of interest is in financial systems, particularly in relation to investment and macroeconomic dimensions.

Teaching summary

On the UCL Masters Course, Economics and Policy of Energy and Environment, I teach a core module on the economics and political economy of energy and climate mitigation policy, based around the book Planetary Economics.  The course attracts 80-90 students from around the world each year. 

I currently (Feb 2023) supervise seven  PhDstudents (five as primary supervisor)


Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1986


Michael Grubb is Professor of Energy and Climate Change at University College London (Institute of Sustainable Resources & Energy Institute), and Deputy Director for ISR. From 2011-2016, alongside academic roles, I worked half-time at the UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (the energy regulator, Ofgem) as Senior Advisor, initially on Sustainable Energy Policy, and subsequently Improving Regulation; from Autumn 2016 I moved to Chair the UK government’s Panel of Technical Experts on Electricity Market Reform

In 2018 I was appointed as Convening Lead Author for Chapter 1 of the IPCC Sixth Assessment (Mitigation Report), and as leader for the Sustainability hub of the UK Research Council's programme on Rebuilding Macroeconomics.

I have combined research and applied roles for many years, bringing research insights into policymaking, and bringing practical experience to bear upon academic studies. Before joining UCL I was part-time Senior Research Associate in Economics at Cambridge University, combined with (prior to joining Ofgem) Chief Economist at the Carbon Trust, and Chair of the international research network/interface organisation Climate Strategies.

These conjoined appointments followed 10 years at Chatham House where I led the Energy and Environment programme. I founded the Climate Policy journal and remained Editor-in-Chief until 2016. From 2008-11 I served on the UK Climate Change Committee, established under the UK Climate Change Act to advise the government on future carbon budgets and to report to Parliament on their implementation. 

Author of eight books, sixty journal research articles, and numerous other publications.  The book Planetary Economics: energy, climate change and the Three Domains of Sustainable Development (Routledge 2014), brought together insights from 25 years of research and implementation of energy and climate policies.

Beyond energy and climate change, I am on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the German Inst for Economic Research (DIW Berlin).