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.

His 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 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

Clara Heuberger -- valuing flexible low carbon electricity from CCS

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

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Schmidt O, Hawkes A, Gambhir A, et al., 2017, The future cost of electrical energy storage based on experience rates, Nature Energy, Vol:2, Pages:17110-17110

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 I, 2017, Measuring the progress and impacts of decarbonising British electricity, Energy Policy, Vol:102, ISSN:0301-4215, Pages:463-475

Staffell I, Pfenninger S, 2016, Using bias-corrected reanalysis to simulate current and future wind power output, Energy, Vol:114, ISSN:0360-5442, Pages:1224-1239

Dodds PE, Staffell L, Hawkes AD, et al., 2015, Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for heating: A review, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol:40, ISSN:0360-3199, Pages:2065-2083

Boßmann T, Staffell I, 2015, The shape of future electricity demand: Exploring load curves in 2050s Germany and Britain, Energy, Vol:90, ISSN:0360-5442, Pages:1317-1333

Staffell I, Green R, 2016, 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:0885-8950, 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

Hawkes A, Staffell I, Brett D, et al., 2009, Fuel cells for micro-combined heat and power generation, Energy & Environmental Science, Vol:2, ISSN:1754-5692, Pages:729-744

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

Pollet BG, Staffell I, Shang JL, 2012, Current status of hybrid, battery and fuel cell electric vehicles: From electrochemistry to market prospects, Electrochimica Acta, Vol:84, ISSN:0013-4686, Pages:235-249

More Publications