Cooling towers and pylons at sunset.

Our Projects

The Centre for Energy Policy work on a wide array of projects. Our research studies cover the full energy supply chain and include the economic impacts of changes in the system. Our work covers a variety of themes:

  • Macroeconomic modelling of energy policy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy supply
Energy saving innovations and economy wide rebound effects

Energy Efficiency actions are widely favoured across Europe as tools in achieving energy and climate change policy objectives. This project looks at the macro economic impacts on the wider economy of energy efficiency actions. It considers the energy savings erosion effect known as “rebound” and looks at the multiple benefits which result beyond the pure energy effects of energy efficiency actions.

The Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde is partnering with the EPSRC funded Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand based at Sussex University. The work explores energy savings rebound in energy for transport, industry and households using a multi-sector economy wide Computable General Equilibrium model of the UK economy.

This EPSRC funded project runs from March 2015 to February 2017. Publications, Research papers and Policy Briefings can be found here.

The Demand-side Trilemma was launched in London and Glasgow in March 2016.

EPSRC Grant ref: EP/M00760X/1

Energy System Impacts of Energy Efficiency

Many policy programmes to promote Energy Efficiency actions have been implemented across Europe, as a part of a wider energy and climate change agenda. This project explores the use of the Scottish TIMES energy system model in two main ways. First, to assess the impacts of energy efficiency changes linked to the Scottish Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP); second to consider how TIMES may be used alongside and complement other existing and potential new modelling platforms to provide additional insights on co-benefits of energy efficiency improvements.

This post sits within the cross-faculty, research-based Centre for Energy Policy (CEP), part of the University of Strathclyde’s International Public Policy Institute, involving collaboration across the Institute for Energy and Environment(IEE) part of the Faculty of Engineering and the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) Strathclyde Business School.

The project (October 2016 to September 2017) is funded  through a Scottish Government ClimateXChange programme 
Economic impacts of hydrogen and fuel cells in the UK

Mitigating climate change is a global objective that calls for initiatives and measures that can support a transition to a low-carbon economy. There is already a growing and significant evidence-base that consider hydrogen as a low-carbon energy carrier with potential to diversify and sustain a shift from the use of carbon intensive fossil fuels to a stronger dominance of renewable energy in any economy.

CEP in collaboration with St. Andrews University and University College London examine the expected or anticipated economy-wide impacts of the potential use and development of hydrogen in the UK. The project involves application of multi-sector economy-wide input-output tools to model conceivable impacts on output, wage income, employment and value added (GDP) to set the UK on a clear/clearer path to a low carbon hydrogen-economy.

This H2FC SUPERGEN funded projects runs from April 2016-March 2017.

Exploring the Macro Economic Impact of Household and Public Building Insulation measures on the Scottish Economy´╗┐

On 6th September 2016, the First Minister of Scotland announced an economic stimulus package including £20million for energy efficiency improvements. This project will explore the impact of this investment for the Scottish Economy as a whole.

The Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde is partnering with WWF and will take input from the Scottish Government in developing robust energy efficiency deployment scenarios. The work uses a multi-sector economy wide Computable General Equilibrium model of the Scottish economy.

This project is funded through the EPSRC Impact Accelerator fund and runs from March 01 2017 to March 31 2017.

Making the macroeconomic case for energy policy actions? The case of CCS

Making the macroeconomic case for energy policy actions? The case of CCS

EPSRC ‘Impact Accelerator’ Project, December 17 – May 18

(Linking to EPSRC projects  EP/M00760X/1 and EP/J016454/1)

Contact: Prof. Karen Turner (karen.turner@strath.ac.uk, 0141 548 3198)

A core problem for the design and implementation of policy actions involving development of energy technologies and capabilities has proven to be ‘making the macroeconomic case’ with policy departments that are responsible for allocating support across a range of competing demands. Planned research at CEP focuses on how work with the type of economy-wide CGE modelling techniques used by finance ministries such as HMT has the potential to inform and impact inter-departmental policy engagement and decision making. 

This EPSRC Impact Accelerator project focuses on developing consensus around the type of narratives and framing of policy actions that will permit policy-relevant focusing of the proposed modelling work, and which may ultimately help enable development of CCS and/or CCU capability in the UK. It will involve ongoing engagement with BEIS (as the UK department responsible for energy/climate policy development), along with HMT (where responsibility for management of public budgets ultimately lies) and the Committee on Climate Change (charged with providing independent, evidence-based advice to the UK and Devolved Governments and Parliaments).

Initial consultation suggests that potential narratives around CCS/CCU are likely to involve considering how such activity would integrate within and add value to the UK economy, whereby:

  • CCS may indirectly sustain existing or help develop new activities (e.g. enabling continued supply and use of fossil fuels and/or low carbon alternatives such as gas)
  • CCS may create new markets (e.g. via export of off-shore carbon storage services)
  • CCU may introduce potential for captured carbon or CO2 to command a price as a useful input to production processes in various industries across the economy.

In considering and developing narratives, it is necessary to engage with bothe national and devolved government actors, industry and wider stakeholder communities.  For this reason an iterative programme of engagement involves 5 stages:

  1. Early January 2018 – project team meetings with BEIS, CCC and HMT
  2. Mid-January to Mid-March – series of one-to-one and group engagements with devolved government, industry and wider stakeholder communities, feeding in initial outcomes from Stage 1.
  3. Mid-March to Mid-April – second round of meetings with BEIS, CCC and HMT, feeding in outcomes from Stage 2.
  4. Two ‘all stakeholder workshops’ drawing on outcomes of Stages 1-3 – one at Strathclyde on 30 April, second at Church House in Westminster mid-May (date tbc.)
  5. Publication of a high impact policy brief on project outcomes

Stakeholders who wish to become involved in Stages 2, 4 and/or 5 of this process are invited to contact Prof. Karen Turner (details above).   

Making the macroeconomic case for energy policy actions? Energy efficiency in Scotland and the UK

Making the macroeconomic case for energy policy actions? Energy efficiency in Scotland and the UK

EPSRC ‘Impact Accelerator’ Project, December 17 – May 18

(Linking to EPSRC project EP/M00760X/1)

Contact: Prof. Karen Turner (karen.turner@strath.ac.uk, 0141 548 3198)

This project builds on work conducted via an EPSRC End-Use Energy Demand project at the Centre for Energy Policy, examining the economy-wide impacts of increased energy efficiency in any one sector of the economy. The EPSRC EUED project built on earlier research that was picked up in a European Commission “Science for Environment Policy” briefing in terms of insights regarding how increasing the efficiency of household energy use could help deliver a wider set of benefits across the wider economy. 

This earlier work also led to Prof. Turner’s involvement of in an International Energy Agency project on ‘Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency’. The EPSRC EUED project built on these foundations in a number of ways, with core focus at UK level. A key output is a paper paper published in the journal Energy Policy, which focuses on distribution and budget implications of public support for energy efficiency actions in different household income groups.

Engagement with BEIS and HMT on this work will continue via the new EPSRC Impact Accelerator project, with particular focus on how outputs of our economy-wide model (we share the ‘CGE’ approach of HMT) may be used to inform social cost-benefit analyses conducted within BEIS to assess and evaluate different energy efficiency actions.

The EPSRC EUED project also involved work for Scotland, in conjunction with work via the ESRC-CEP funded studentship and Scottish Government ClimateXChange Fellowship of Dr Gioele Figus (who is jointly employed by CEP and the Fraser of Allander Institute). The Scottish work also focused on household energy efficiency, with particularly focus on how the IEA ‘multiple benefits’ argument may manifest in a Scottish context.

The project’s insights in this respect have been reflected through an IPPI policy brief, pieces in the Herald and Scottish Construction Now and at a meeting of the Scottish Party Cross Party Group on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency held in November 2016. After the project formally ended in March 2017 CEP secured a first EPSRC ‘Impact Accelerator Project’, which involved engaging with the Scottish Government HEEPS team to consider the potential impacts of a £20million energy efficiency spending package announced as part of a ‘post-Brexit’ economic stimulus package in September 2016. This resulted in a dedicated policy brief.

The new EPSRC Impact Accelerator project will involve extending this work with focus on specific energy efficiency spending and projected outcomes using information recorded by the Energy Saving Trust Scotland. The intended outcome is to provide input to inform Scottish Government reporting around SEEP in the late spring of 2018.