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






BibTex format

author = {Heuberger, CF and Staffell, I and Shah, N and Mac, Dowell N},
doi = {10.1038/s41560-018-0159-3},
journal = {Nature Energy},
pages = {634--640},
title = {Impact of myopic decision-making and disruptive events in power systems planning},
url = {},
volume = {3},
year = {2018}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The delayed deployment of low-carbon energy technologies is impeding energy system decarbonization. The continuing debate about the cost-competitiveness of low-carbon technologies has led to a strategy of waiting for a ‘unicorn technology’ to appear. Here, we show that myopic strategies that rely on the eventual manifestation of a unicorn technology result in either an oversized and underutilized power system when decarbonization objectives are achieved, or one that is far from being decarbonized, even if the unicorn technology becomes available. Under perfect foresight, disruptive technology innovation can reduce total system cost by 13%. However, a strategy of waiting for a unicorn technology that never appears could result in 61% higher cumulative total system cost by mid-century compared to deploying currently available low-carbon technologies early on.
AU - Heuberger,CF
AU - Staffell,I
AU - Shah,N
AU - Mac,Dowell N
DO - 10.1038/s41560-018-0159-3
EP - 640
PY - 2018///
SN - 1520-8524
SP - 634
TI - Impact of myopic decision-making and disruptive events in power systems planning
T2 - Nature Energy
UR -
UR -
VL - 3
ER -