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Prof Michael Grubb
University College London
Central House
14 Upper Woburn Place
Tel: 0203 108 5958
Prof Michael Grubb profile picture
  • Professor of Energy and Climate Change
  • Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources
  • Faculty of the Built Environment

Michael Grubb is Professor of Energy and Climate Change at University College London (Institute of Sustainable Resources & Energy Institute), and Research Director for ISR. From 2011-2016, alongside academic roles, I worked half-time at the UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (the energy regulator, Ofgem) as Senior Advisor, initially on Sustainable Energy Policy, and subsequently Improving Regulation; from Autumn 2016 I moved to Chair the UK government’s Panel of Technical Experts on Electricity Market Reform. In 2018 I was appointed as Convening Lead Author for Chapter 1 of the IPCC Sixth Assessment (Mitigation Report)

In 2018 Michael was appointed as Convening Lead Author for Chapter 1 of the IPCC Sixth Assessment (Mitigation Report), and as Leader for the Sustainability hub of the UK Research Council's programme on Rebuilding Macroeconomics.

I have combined research and applied roles for many years, bringing research insights into policymaking, and bringing practical experience to bear upon academic studies. Before joining UCL I was part-time Senior Research Associate in Economics at Cambridge University, combined with (prior to joining Ofgem) Chief Economist at the Carbon Trust, and Chair of the international research network/interface organisation Climate Strategies.

These conjoined appointments followed 10 years at Chatham House where I led the Energy and Environment programme. I founded the Climate Policy journal and remained Editor-in-Chief until 2016. From 2008-11 I served on the UK Climate Change Committee, established under the UK Climate Change Act to advise the government on future carbon budgets and to report to Parliament on their implementation. 

Author of eight books, sixty journal research articles, and numerous other publications.  The book Planetary Economics: energy, climate change and the Three Domains of Sustainable Development (Routledge 2014), brought together insights from 25 years of research and implementation of energy and climate policies.

Beyond energy and climate change, I am on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the German Inst for Economic Research (DIW Berlin).

Research Groups
Research Summary

My research and experience have grouped broadly around four main themes:

  • Energy innovation, with emphasis upon the innovation process in the energy sector, particularly in relation to renewable sources and the design of efficient and effect market structures and support systems
  • Integration of renewable electricity sources into electricity systems and associated issues of system management, security and capacity adequacy, particularly as applied to UK system and interconnection
  • Carbon pricing and emissions trading systems, including design of the EU ETS and industrial competitiveness and the international coordination and development of carbon pricing systems
  • International climate change responses more broadly including the UNFCCC negotiations, the Kyoto Protocol and its ‘Flexibility Mechanisms’, and the wider challenges of international cooperation including of course implementation of the Paris Agreement.
An additional and rising area of interest is in financial systems, particularly in relation to investment and macroeconomic dimensions.

Teaching Summary

On the UCL Masters Course, Economics and Policy of Energy and Environment, I teach a core module on the economics and political economy of energy and climate mitigation policy, based around the book Planetary Economics.  The course attracts 80-90 students from around the world each year. 

For the past two years I have taught the Planetary Economics module also at Beihang University in Beijing. 

I currently (Feb 2021) supervise eight PhD students (five as primary supervisor)

JUN-2014 Professor of International Energy and Climate Change Policy Institute for Sustainable Resources University College London, United Kingdom
OCT-2011 – APR-2014 Chair of Energy and Climate Change Policy Programme, Dept of Land Economy Cambridge University, United Kingdom
APR-2011 Senior Advisor Sustainable Energy Policy UK Office of Gas and Electricit Ofgem, United Kingdom
OCT-2003 – SEP-2011 Senior Research Associate Faculty of Economics Cambridge University, United Kingdom
DEC-2001 – DEC-2009 Chief Economist   The Carbon Trust, United Kingdom
JAN-2000 Editor-in-Chief   Climate Policy Journal, United Kingdom
1999 – 2002 Professor of Climate Change and Energy Policy Department of Environmental Science and Technology Imperial College, United Kingdom
1993 – 1998 Head of Energy and Environmental Programme   Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs), United Kingdom
1988 – 1992 Research Fellow (Senior from 1991)   Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs), United Kingdom
Academic Background
1986   Doctor of Philosophy  
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