This paper highlights initial findings from our ground breaking survey of UK energy models, which to our knowledge is the first initiative to try to capture all the models in a single country. It details the scope of modelling in the UK, who hosts, maintains and uses models, along with dominant analytical techniques.

Modelling of the energy transition takes place alongside empirical analysis and qualitative research methods. Models therefore inform decision making to enable the energy transition, with UK energy modelling based across academia, government and consulting firms.

All modellers wrestle with the same key issues:

  • what type, how complex, and what strengths their model should have;
  • how to fund, maintain and apply that model to decision making;
  • how transparent to make its inputs and outputs?

In academia a debate has also raged, focusing on energy model transparency with a view to making models transparent so they qualify as ‘true science’, where others can understand, verify and replicate the research.  The UK government has led a parallel effort to make all the models it uses transparent and quality assured via the guidance in the Aqua Book.

To investigate these issues, UKERC’s Energy Modelling Hub coordinated a ground-breaking survey of all the energy models in the UK. This briefing paper is the first of four to focus on results from the survey and covers the UK energy modelling landscape. Initial findings detail who hosts and runs models, their methodologies and coverage, and their major outputs.

As of 1st April 2021, there are 76 UK energy models reported in the database, the survey remains open for additional entries and updates to existing entries.

Access the survey here.