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Reference Number EP/K005316/1
Title Realising Transition Pathways - Whole Systems Analysis for a UK More Electric Low Carbon Energy Future
Status Completed
Energy Categories ENERGY EFFICIENCY(Industry) 10%;
ENERGY EFFICIENCY(Residential and commercial) 10%;
OTHER POWER and STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES(Electric power conversion) 25%;
OTHER POWER and STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES(Electricity transmission and distribution) 25%;
OTHER CROSS-CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES or RESEARCH(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 10%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Sociology) 20%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 60%;
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) 20%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Energy modelling) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 20%;
Principal Investigator Professor GP Hammond
No email address given
Mechanical Engineering
University of Bath
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 May 2012
End Date 30 April 2016
Duration 48 months
Total Grant Value £2,566,732
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region South West
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor GP Hammond , Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath (99.989%)
  Other Investigator Dr M Thomson , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University (0.001%)
Prof GA (Graham ) Ault , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde (0.001%)
Dr S (Stuart ) Galloway , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde (0.001%)
Professor D G Infield , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde (0.001%)
Prof M (Matthew ) Leach , Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey (0.001%)
Dr W Wehrmeyer , Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey (0.001%)
Professor PJG (Peter ) Pearson , Architecture, Cardiff University (0.001%)
Dr TJ Foxon , School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds (0.001%)
Dr JD Chilvers , Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia (0.001%)
Professor G (Goran ) Strbac , Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Professor N (Neil ) Strachan , UCL Energy Institute, University College London (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract The project will extend the work of the Transition Pathways project, in which an innovative collaborationbetween engineers, social scientists and policy analysts developed and analysed a set of 'transitionpathways' towards a UK low carbon electricity system. The pathways aimed to meet the UK's target of an80% cut on 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The team developed and applied tools toanalyse the technical feasibility, social acceptability and environmental and economic impacts of thesepathways. The research built a sound platform from which to address the challenge of realising a lowcarbon transition.The aim of the new project is to explore what needs to be done to achieve a transition that successfullyaddresses the energy policy 'trilemma', i.e. the simultaneous delivery of low carbon, secure and affordableenergy services. We focus on electricity, but in a context that includes the electrical provision of heat andtransport, and key EU developments and policies. The project will inform thinking and decision-makingabout technological and behavioural developments, and the roles of key energy system 'actors',governance arrangements and regulations in a low carbon transition. The team will:1. Analyse actors' choices and decisions in past, current and prospective developments in electricitysupply and demand;2. Analyse the social, behavioural and technical drivers and implications of electricity users' responsesto incentives on the demand side and how to integrate these responses into electricity systems;3. Undertake techno-economic modelling and energy and environmental assessments of thedevelopments in electricity supply (including transmission and distribution networks) needed tomeet this responsive demand.This research will inform decision-making by central and local government policy-makers, energy firms -both incumbents and new entrants, and civil society groups with an interest in energy policy. Followinganalysis by the Committee on Climate Change and in view of its commitments under national andEuropean targets, the UK government is envisioning a rapid expansion of low-carbon electricity generationas a key means of moving towards a low carbon economy. However, this will require significant and interconnectedchanges in the patterns of energy service demands, market and regulatory frameworks andenergy company business models, as well as technological innovation and deployment. This research aimsto inform decision-making by:1. investigating how the choices and interactions of actors and structural factors could contribute to therealisation of low carbon pathways, and what are likely to be key decision or branching points;2. assessing the role of future demand responses, understanding the factors that drive energy demandand energy-using behaviour, and integrating this analysis within a whole-systems framework ofelectricity system development;3. developing a set of interacting and complementary tools to analyse electricity network infrastructureinvestment and operational decisions, in order to model decisions to invest in the range of fossiland low carbon generation, taking into account market design and subsidy mechanisms;4. appraising the energy and environmental performance of the technological mix, on a whole systemsbasis, analysing future economic costs, benefits, risks and returns, and uncertainties, and usingeconomic models to explore wider social welfare, growth and employment impacts.These strands of research will be brought together to form a 'whole systems analysis' of the technical,environmental, economic, and social implications of alternative transition pathways to a UK low carbon electricity future
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 01/06/12