Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Research Postgraduate







16 Prince's GardensSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

7 results found

Halttunen K, Staffell I, Slade R, 2022, Climate change and the future of the oil industry: perspectives from the front line of the transition, 12th International Sustainability Transitions Conference. Mainstreaming sustainability transitions: From research towards impact

Conference paper

Bricout A, Slade R, Staffell I, Halttunen Ket al., 2022, From the geopolitics of oil and gas to the geopolitics of the energy transition: Is there a role for European supermajors?, Energy Research and Social Science, Vol: 88, ISSN: 2214-6296

The energy transition is changing the corporate positioning of European international oil companies (IOCs). Developments such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and the gas market volatility of 2021 have brought energy geopolitics to the fore and further complicated the landscape in which these companies operate. By combining data from literature and semi-structured interviews with key experts, this work explores how the influence of the European IOCs on the geopolitics of oil, gas, and renewable energy sources might evolve in the transition. We find that European IOCs continue to have geopolitical influence, but it has been diminished by the rise of national oil companies. If fossil fuels are phased down globally, the reduction in oil activities of these companies is likely to further reduce their geopolitical power. While European IOCs may continue to be active in the gas market, this is unlikely to render them significant geopolitical influence given that they may become common rather than dominant market players. The same is true for the IOCs' role in renewable energy markets, although here European IOCs may seek to gain more influence by becoming significant intermediaries and global experts. As the energy transition progresses, many experts expect the political and market landscape around energy to become more fragmented, reducing the overall geopolitical influence of IOCs. Recent events such as the war in Ukraine do not change the overall conclusions, although it remains to be seen whether they will slow down or speed up the IOCs' involvement in the energy transition.

Journal article

Halttunen K, Slade R, Staffell I, 2022, What if we never run out of oil? From certainty of “peak oil” to “peak demand”, Energy Research & Social Science, Vol: 85, Pages: 1-6, ISSN: 2214-6296

The COVID-19 pandemic sent the oil industry into turmoil on a scale not seen since the 1970s. While the sector appears to be recovering, questions remain about the extent to which the pandemic has offered a glimpse into the possible future of the industry. This future is critical to the success of climate change mitigation, which requires significant cuts to the carbon dioxide emissions from using oil for energy. Therefore, it makes sense to consider future scenarios in which global oil demand peaks and then declines alongside scenarios of continued demand growth. This is a significant departure from historical development of oil demand and the dominant discussion of many decades about “peak oil” and the fear of demand outstripping readily available supply. The implications of peaking oil demand would be massive, not only for the oil industry but also for society as whole. There is not enough understanding of what the impacts would be, or how to prepare for them. The research community needs to take a clear-eyed view of potential futures of oil, which includes considering scenarios in which demand goes into long-term decline.

Journal article

Halttunen K, 2021, The advent of relativity, Contemporary Physics, ISSN: 0010-7514

Journal article

Halttunen K, Slade R, Staffell I, 2021, The future of the oil industry in a "Well Below 2 Degree" world: a company-level agent-based simulation, Energy, COVID, and Climate Change, 1st IAEE Online Conference, Publisher: IAEE

Conference paper

Carmichael RICHARD, Halttunen KRISTA, Palazzo Corner SOFIA, Rhodes AIDANet al., 2021, Paying for UK Net Zero: principles for a cost-effective and fair transition


Halttunen K, Staffell I, Slade R, Green R, Saint-Drenan Y-M, Jansen Met al., 2020, Global assessment of the merit-order effect and revenue cannibalisation for variable renewable energy, Publisher: Elsevier

The rapid growth of wind and solar power has been a major driver for decarbonisation worldwide. They tend to reduce wholesale electricity prices, both the time-weighted average (the merit‑order effect) and their own output-weighted average (price cannibalisation). Whilst these effects have been widely observed, most previous studies focus on single countries. Here, we compare 37 electricity markets across Europe, North America, Australia and Japan and explore variations between them.Merit-order and cannibalisation effects are observed in nearly all countries studied. However, only in Germany, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Denmark and California can renewable output explain more than 10% of variation in wholesale electricity prices. The global average merit‑order effect is €0.68±€0.54 /MWh per percentage point increase in variable renewable energy penetration, and this falls with higher penetration. Revenues captured by wind farms decrease by 0.23% (€0.16 /MWh) for each percentage point increase of wind penetration and by 1.94% (€0.90 /MWh) for solar PV.

Working paper

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