Michael Grubb

Welcome to my Website

27 Jan 2023 | Commentaries

Welcome to my website – and plans for 2023. I’ve worked on energy systems, economics & policy dimensions of climate change over decades. This site offers a gateway to the research, much of it with great people, at some of the leading research institutions in the UK, and many international collaborations.

My career has spanned academia (Imperial College, Cambridge, UCL) and practical roles in implementation (Carbon Trust, Ofgem, the UK Panel on Electricity Market Reform).  A formative period on international dimensions during 10 years at Chatham House was followed by a shift to domestic and European policy in these roles, cemented as a member of the very first UK Climate Change Committee, established under the UK’s Climate Change Act of 2008. Roles in UK electricity during a period of dramatic transition followed, and it was an honour in 2017 to be selected as Convening Lead Author for Chapter 1 of the most recent IPCC Assessment on Mitigation. If you are interested in the work that got me into those positions, it’s all here.

Given the demonstrably inadequate global progress in tackling climate change, it’s easy to be dismissive or depressed. But the research also testifies to the fact that much has indeed progressed since the early days – when many colleagues asked why I was wasting time on something so trivial and ineffective as renewable energy, or why climate change was even a relevant topic for a serious institution like Chatham House. It also shows how much better we could do, if we had stronger, sounder, more consistently applied policies, grounded in a real understanding of the complementary roles of innovation, investment, markets and regulation.

On this site, the research is grouped around six main fields of my research interests over the years: innovation, carbon pricing, electricity systems & renewables integration, and international processes, along with some more cross-cutting ‘big picture’ and regional studies, and some special topics.

The website is not however intended just as an open archive. New and challenging research is coming down the track.  I learned from early days to speak my mind, based on conclusions from the analysis – whether or not the conclusions were fashionable, and whether or not others thought they were too timid, or too radical to be credible. I have some surprises, and new ideas, in store, if they get through academic review.

Or just as opinion pieces. In addition to notifications of new research, during 2023 I aim to post a series of Commentaries, intending roughly one a month.  Energy and climate change issues are simultaneously global and local. Credibility does not come from articulating the need for greater global ambition, if one’s own country or region is not on course.  During this year I aim to alternate: Commentaries drawing inter alia from ‘under the hood’ of debates in the IPCC Sixth Assessment report on Mitigation, will be interspersed with analyses of the UK/European situation.

For anyone interested, I’ll send notices out to connections on LinkedIn and Twitter when I do. Just sign up on the home page” – or via Connection requests to michaeljgrubb, or follow @michaelgrubb9

More Outreach

Climate change progress and Paradox

Despite scepticism, parts of the world have been making real progress on cutting emissions. But the latest push for carbon pricing has fallen flat. Its advocates need to learn from the accumulated evidence – and recalibrate fast.

COPped out?  The Global Stocktake on Mitigation and and its implications

The Mitigation section of UEA Consensus on the Global Stocktake avoids the issue that should lie at the heart of a robust international agreement: what should be done if the “nationally determined” offers don’t add up to the agreed goals (they don’t – as acknowledged) and won’t (as is obvious). Understanding why is crucial for understanding what the COP can and cannot do – and hence the need to look beyond.

Discussions on REMA: Splitting the wholesale market

Following on from their first REMA seminar in May where Locational Marginal Pricing (LMP) was discussed, BIEE held a second seminar on Tuesday 26 September to discuss another of the Government’s proposed electricity market reforms – splitting the wholesale market in...