Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Lecturer in Sustainable Energy Systems



+44 (0)20 7594 9570i.staffell




202Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Iain Staffell is a multi-disciplinary scientist holding degrees in Physics, Chemical Engineering and Economics.  He is a lecturer in Sustainable Energy at the Centre for Environmental Policy with ten years’ experience in energy R&D. 

Iain is co-developer of the, an open web platform that lets you simulate the hourly power output from wind and solar power plants located anywhere in the world.  Iain also leads the Electric Insights project, an interactive website and quarterly report on the supply, demand, price and environmental impacts of Britain's electricity.  He is one of the founders of Power Swarm, a network for academics, industry and government experts working on power system transformation

Iain's research centres on decarbonising electricity systems, ranging from the economics of battery storage and nuclear power to efficient ways of integrating renewables into electricity markets, modelling their benefits and impacts.  Broad research areas include the potential of an interconnected super-grid and smart energy storage systems to reduce the cost and carbon emissions of generating electricity across Europe; the impacts that climate change will have on the business case for renewables; the role of flexible fossil power in balancing decarbonised energy systems; and residential-scale microgeneration for decarbonising the heat sector.

As energy, renewables and carbon are never far from the public eye, Iain's resarch and commentary have appeared in the BBC (2), Der Spiegel, The Times (2) (3), The FT (2) (3), The Telegraph (2), The Guardian (2) (3), The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Sun, Huffington Post, The Conversation, Popular Mechanics, Quartz (2), Vice, Esquire, Die Zeit and Reddit.

Iain holds a visiting position at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology - ETH Zürich, within the Climate Policy Group.


Iain co-convenes the Energy Policy option of the Environmental Technology MSc course, lecturing on energy economics and policy.  He also teaches for Imperial College Business School on the MSc in Economics & Strategy for Business, and for the Energy Futures Lab on the MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures.



Kate Ward -- modelling renewable energy and electricity storage

Malte Jansen -- modelling electricity systems and the carbon impacts of wind power

Daniel Hdidouan -- evaluating the impact of climate change on renewable energy systems

Oliver Schmidt -- quantifying future costs and the carbon mitigation potential of energy storage

Niki Avgeraki -- estimating the economic potential of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) in the UK

Andrea Biancardi -- investigating future-proof business models for transmission system operators facing a revolution in the electricity sector

Nathan Johnson -- estimating how transformed the global energy system is, and needs to be to meet decarbonisation objectives

Daniel Mehlig -- looking at the impacts of electrifying London's vehicle fleet on air quality and electricity supply


Quarterly reports on the state of the British power system:

Electric Insights: 2018 Quarter 2
Electric Insights: 2018 Quarter 1

Electric Insights: 2017 Quarter 4
Electric Insights: 2017 Quarter 3
Electric Insights: 2017 Quarter 2
Electric Insights: 2017 Quarter 1

Electric Insights: 2016 Quarter 4
Electric Insights: 2016 Quarter 3

G. Castagneto Gissey, M. Grubb, I. Staffell, P. Agnolucci and P. Ekins, 2018. Wholesale cost reflectivity of GB and European electricity prices. Ofgem: London.

A. Boston, G. Bongers, S. Byrom and I. Staffell, 2017. Managing Flexibility Whilst Decarbonising Electricity - the Australian NEM is changing. Gamma Energy Technology: Brisbane.

E. de Vries, D. Milborrow, I. Staffell and J. Quilter, 2017. Wind turbine trends: Technology developments, performance data, cost analysis. Windpower Intelligence: London.

I. Staffell, P. Dodds, D. Scamman, A. Velazquez Abad, N. Mac Dowell, K. Ward, P. Agnolucci, L. Papageorgiou, N. Shah and P. Ekins, 2017. The role of hydrogen and fuel cells in the future energy systems. H2FC Supergen: London.

L. Hirth, S. Pfenninger, J. DeCarolis, S. Quoilin and I. Staffell, 2016. The importance of open data and software for energy research and policy advice. SETIS Magazine, 13, 30–33: European Commission.

K.R.W. Bell and I. Staffell, 2016. Audit of the BID3 Pan European Market Model for National Grid. National Grid: Warwick

S. Bassi, R. Boyd, S. Buckle, P. Fennell, N. Mac Dowel, Z. Makuch and I. Staffell, 2015. Bridging the gap: improving the economic and policy framework for carbon capture and storage in the European Union. Grantham Institute Policy Brief.

I. Staffell and R. Green, 2015. Evidence on Wind Farm Performance Decline in the UK. Written evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry into the resilience of electricity infrastructure.

P.E. Dodds, A. Hawkes, W. McDowall, F. Li, I. Staffell, P. Grünewald, T. Kansara, P. Ekins and P. Agnolucci.  2014.  The role of hydrogen and fuel cells in providing affordable, secure low-carbon heat.  H2FC Supgergen: London.

R. Green and I. Staffell, 2013. The Impact of Government Interventions on Investment in the GB Electricity Market. Expert Opinion for the European Commission State Aid Decision SA.34947 on UK Electricity Market Reform ‒ Contract for Difference for the Hinkley Point C New Nuclear Power Station.



Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Staffell IL, Wilson IAG, 2018, Rapid fuel switching from coal to natural gas through effective carbon pricing, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol:3, ISSN:1520-8524, Pages:365-372

Staffell IL, Pfenninger S, 2017, The increasing impact of weather on electricity supply and demand, Energy, Vol:145, ISSN:0360-5442, Pages:65-78

Schmidt O, Hawkes A, Gambhir A, et al., 2017, The future cost of electrical energy storage based on experience rates, Nature Energy, Vol:2

Grams CM, Beerli R, Pfenninger S, et al., 2017, Balancing Europe's wind power output through spatial deployment informed by weather regimes., Nature Climate Change, Vol:7, ISSN:1758-678X, Pages:557-562

Staffell IL, 2017, Measuring the progress and impacts of decarbonising British electricity, Energy Policy, Vol:102, ISSN:1873-6777, Pages:463-475

Pfenninger S, DeCarolis J, Hirth L, et al., 2016, The importance of open data and software: Is energy research lagging behind?, Energy Policy, Vol:101, ISSN:0301-4215, Pages:211-215

Pfenninger S, Staffell IL, 2016, Long-term patterns of European PV output using 30 years of validated hourly reanalysis and satellite data, Energy, Vol:114, ISSN:0360-5442, Pages:1251-1265

Staffell IL, Pfenninger S, 2016, Using Bias-Corrected Reanalysis to SimulateCurrent and Future Wind Power Output, Energy, Vol:114, ISSN:0360-5442, Pages:1224-1239

Staffell I, Green R, 2015, Is There Still Merit in the Merit Order Stack? The Impact of Dynamic Constraints on Optimal Plant Mix, Ieee Transactions on Power Systems, Vol:31, ISSN:1558-0679, Pages:43-53

Staffell I, Green R, 2014, How does wind farm performance decline with age?, Renewable Energy, Vol:66, ISSN:0960-1481, Pages:775-786

Staffell I, Green R, 2013, The cost of domestic fuel cell micro-CHP systems, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol:38, ISSN:0360-3199, Pages:1088-1102

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