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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

Past Events

Find out about some of the previous events held by Durham Energy Institute:

DEI Seminar Series: Use of Quantitative Modelling in Energy Policy Forumulation (Seminar 2 of 3)

30th May 2012, 14:00 to 15:00, Room E240, School of Engineering & Computing Sciences, Speakers: Kim Warren & Bob Thurlby, London Business School, Strategy Dynamics and System Dynamics Society

This is the second in a series of 3 seminars.  The provisional title for the seminar is "Use of modelling in strategic decision making"

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.

This seminar follows from the seminar below:

Wednesday 23 May

Speaker: Nick Screen (Redpoint Energy)
Provisional Title: Modelling to support electricity market reform

The final seminar in the series is:

Wednesday 6 June

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. 

Contact chris.dent@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.