Big picture thinking: The key to an energy efficient world 


Thanks to a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Imperial College Business School is collaborating with Imperial’s Energy Futures Lab on research that aims to tackle the challenge of mapping integrated energy systems.   

What’s the story? 

The green agenda is a top priority for many businesses and governments - not to mention individuals.  

But in order to achieve an energy efficient world it isn’t enough simply to assess what one business or industry can do – we need to look at the big picture.  

Investment decisions about how energy systems need to change as the world moves towards a low-carbon existence are typically made by many players, including exploration and production resource companies, power station operators, network providers, vehicle owners, transport system operators and building developers.  

But crucially these decisions are informed by markets and incentives which have been laid out by governments to meet policy objectives on energy, air quality and economic growth.  

To make sure the right objectives are being set, governments and businesses need to have detailed and reliable evidence of what can be achieved in terms of this fundamental change to the way we operate.  

Questions such as what energy system model we should aim for, which new technologies need to be nurtured, and how energy systems can form part of a comprehensive industrial strategy, need to be addressed.  

In addition to an exceptional team of experts across many disciplines, we have engaged four major partners from complementary sectors of the energy system which are supporting the programme with significant funding and more importantly engage with us and each other to share insights, challenges, data and case studies.  

These include energy company EDF Energy, oil and gas giant Shell, British multinational energy organisation National Grid and industrial technology company ABB. 

Grant name: Integrated Development of Low-Carbon Energy Systems (IDLES): A Whole-System Paradigm for Creating a National Strategy 

Duration: 1 November 2018 - 31 October 2023 

Business School Lead Investigators: Professor Richard Green, Dr Mirabelle Muuls and Professor Wolfram Wiesemann  

Principal Investigator: Professor Tim Green (Energy Futures Lab)