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Economics of energy innovation and system transition

Economics of energy innovation and system transition

8 April 2020

A new three year project on the Economics of Energy Innovation and System Transition (EEIST), funded by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) brings together leading experts in all fields of complexity science and innovation research with decision-makers around the world. 

A consortium of 16 institutions, including Oxford's PCT Programme, the University of Cambridge, UCL, and the University of Exeter, aims to transform decision-making processes around planning for decarbonisation in Brazil, China, India, the UK, and EU countries - aimed at building the necessary capacities of low-carbon technology to fulfil their emission reduction targets.

​The project will be divided into five stages.

EEIST will first implement an ambitious programme of co-creating modelling and analysis capabilities with experts and decision-makers in China, India, Brazil, the EU, and the UK to help promote prudent low-carbon innovation policy-making. This will provide for the development of new non-prescriptive and tailored approaches to policy appraisal relevant to the non-linear transformation of our energy systems that is required to meet the Paris goals.

The second stage will be to develop a new framework for transitions-compliant policy assessment that goes beyond a static, ‘perfect foresight’ frame of assessing costs and benefits, to analysing risks and opportunities. 

Next, an empirical evidence base will be developed to enable that all models are thoroughly calibrated and tested.

This data will be employed in new models, or adaptations of existing models, and tailored to the policy questions identified by the co-creation process. These models will be applied to generate evidence as part of the risk-opportunity framework to provide, evidence for decarbonisation policy-making.

Finally, the resulting analysis will be shared with stakeholders in order for these new methods to transform policy appraisal beyond the end of this project.

For more information about the project, please go the the project website at or contact Dr Matthew Ives, the Oxford team lead.

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