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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 Formulation (Seminar 3 of 3)

6th June 2012, 14:00 to 15:00, Room E240, School of Engineering & Computing Sciences, Speaker: Steve Allen, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

This is the third in a series of three seminars.  The title of the seminar is "Explaining science to politicians"

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 two earlier seminars:

Wednesday 23 May

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

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

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.