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Dr David Comerford

Research Associate


Personal statement

I am a Research Associate in Economics and Environmental Modelling at the Fraser of Allander Institute. I work across environmental and energy economics. In particular, I provide economic analysis to the Supergen Wind project, and I lead the Fraser of Allander/Scottish Government project linking natural capital/ecosystem services with economy-wide models.
I have a diverse set of research interests within applied micro- and macro-economics with the common theme of trying to inform long term policy issues. Amongst other projects, I have worked on the link between state size and productivity using trade models, the problem of optimal climate change policy using models with credit frictions, and I have studied inequality using microsimulation models.
The goal of my work is to provide policy relevant research, and my experience to date has included engaging with policy makers and writing in the press, both about general economic issues and about my specific research.
My Ph.D in economics was awarded in July 2013 by the University of Edinburgh. Before returning to university to study economics, I was a qualified life insurance Actuary. My previous degrees were in Mathematics and Physics.


How might Brexit impact the UK energy industry?
Allan Grant, Comerford David
Scotland, the UK and BrexitScotland, the UK and Brexit, (2017)
Carbon emissions and the economic impact of healthy eating in Scotland
Comerford David
Quarterly Economic Commentary Vol 41, pp. 42-50, (2017)
Modelling the contribution of natural capital to the wider economy
Comerford D.
Ecosystem Services Community Scotland, (2017)
The economic impact of healthy eating as part of climate change policy
Comerford D.
25th International Input-Output Conference (IIOA), (2017)
How will Brexit affect the offshore wind industry in the UK?
Comerford D., Cui C.X., Lecca P., McGregor P., Swales K., Tamba M.
Applied Environmental Economics Conference 2017, (2017)
The carbon bubble : climate policy in a fire-sale model of deleveraging
Comerford David, Spiganti Alessandro
Central Banking, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability, (2016)

more publications


Linking agriculture and eco-system models with CGEs
Allan, Grant (Principal Investigator) Comerford, David (Researcher)
Period 01-Apr-2016 - 31-Mar-2019
Supergen Wind Hub
Leithead, William (Principal Investigator) Anaya-Lara, Olimpo (Co-investigator) Campos-Gaona, David (Researcher) Comerford, David (Researcher) Stock, Adam (Researcher) Yue, Hong (Researcher)
"The EU has a binding target of 20% of energy to come from renewables by 2020, with an associated CO2 emissions reduction target of 20% (relative to 1990) and a 20% reduction on energy usage by the same date. This is the so-called 20/20/20 target. The UK's target is for 15% of energy to be sourced from renewables by this date. For this target to be met, over 30% of electricity will need to be generated from renewables and it is anticipated that 31GW of this will come from wind power with 13GW onshore and 18GW offshore by 2020 to 40GW of offshore wind power capacity could be installed by 2030. At present 6GW of wind power have been installed onshore and 3GW offshore. Because of environmental concerns, the development of onshore wind power in the UK is being constrained making the cost-effective and reliable offshore development ever more important. To increase offshore capacity by at least a factor of five in seven years, whilst minimising the cost of energy, presents very significant design, operational and logistical challenges. Within the above context and in the longer term, wind farms and wind turbines will be sited further offshore in deeper water and become bigger.

The proposed Supergen Wind Hub brings together leading wind energy academic research groups in UK to address the medium term challenges of scaling up to multiple wind farms, considering how to better build, operate and maintain multi-GW arrays of wind turbines whilst providing a reliable source of electricity whose characteristics can be effectively integrated into a modern power system such as that in the UK. The wind resource over both short and long terms, the interaction of wakes within a wind farm and the turbine loads and their impact on reliability will all need to be better understood. The layout of the farms, including foundations, impact on radar and power systems and shore-connection issues, will need to be optimised. The most effective and efficient operation of wind farms will require them to act as virtual conventional power plants flexibly responding to the current conditions, the wind turbines' state and operational demands and grid-integration requirements. The programme of research for the Supergen Wind Energy Hub will focus on all of the above, both at the level of single farms and of clusters of farms."
Period 19-Jun-2014 - 18-Jun-2019

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