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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute


DEI are bringing DEI seminars to your home with our new online seminar series. Seminars will be held weekly and registration links are in the event links below.

Registration for all events will be closed at 8.30am on the morning of the seminar. Logins and passwords will be emailed to attendees on the morning of each seminar.

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DEI Seminar Series: Use of Quantitative Modelling in Energy Policy Formulation (Seminar 1 of 3)

23rd May 2012, 14:00 to 15:00, Room E240, School of Engineering & Computing Sciences, Speaker: Nick Screen, Redpoint Energy

This is the first in a series of 3 seminars.  The provisional title for the seminar is "Modelling to support electricity market reform".

Quantitative modelling is widely used to support energy policy decisions. This ranges from climate models used to assess the potential consequences of climate change, to economic models of wide scope used to project future energy systems development and much more detailed modelling used to assess subsections of the UK's energy system (e.g. the current debate over electricity market reform).

The majority of those (ministers, MPs, senior civil servants etc) who ultimately make policy decisions do not themselves have specialist modelling expertise. Indeed, one can identify at least four groups of people involved in carrying out and acting on modelling:

  • Decision makers
  • Academics and others who interpret modelling studies for the benefit of decision makers
  • Modellers who use existing techniques
  • Researchers in modelling methodology

Robust use of modelling in decision making relies on appropriate messages being sent and received between these groups. Do policy makers understand the uncertainties and limitations in modelling results, and how to act on these? Do modellers understand how to communicate their results robustly in a form which policy makers can use? This seminar series will explore these questions.

Further seminars in the series are:

Wednesday 30 May

Speakers: Kim Warren and Bob Thurlby (London Business School, Strategy Dynamics, and System Dynamics Society),
Provisional Title: Use of modelling in strategic decision making

Wednesday 6 June

Speaker: Steve Allen (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology),
Title: Explaining science to politicians

Each seminar will consist of a presentation (approximately 30 minutes) plus extended discussion of the speaker's experiences in using and communicating modelling. There will also be opportunities for interested Durham researchers to meet the visiting speakers for further individual discussions.



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