Michael Grubb is Professor of Energy and Climate Change at University College London, Institute of Sustainable Resources, working closely also with the UCL Energy Institute. From 2011-2016, alongside academic roles, he worked half-time at the UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (the energy regulator, Ofgem) as Senior Advisor, and now Chairs the UK government’s Panel of Technical Experts on Electricity Market Reform. His former positions include Senior Research Associate in Economics at Cambridge University; Chair of the international research organization Climate Strategies; Chief Economist at the UK Carbon Trust; Professor at Imperial College London; and head of Energy and Environment at Chatham House. Professor Grubb founded the journal Climate Policy, and 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. Internationally, he is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Economics Research Institute DIW Berlin, is a Scientific Board Member of the European Parliament’s Progressive Economy initiative, and was formerly a member of the International Advisory Council of the International Association for Energy Economics. Michael Grubb is author of eight books, sixty journal research articles, and numerous other publications. His book Planetary Economics brings together the lessons from 25 years of research and implementation of energy and climate policies, with a full Chinese translation published last year. It has received widespread accolade as a ‘seminal’ contribution, ‘comprehensive and profoundly important’ for its development of a wider theoretical framework of economics, and its application to the practical policies for tackling energy and climate change challenges.
The UK has radically reduced coal consumption for power generation – including an 84% reduction over 2012-2017. Over the past quarter century, CO2 emissions from UK electricity have halved. Set in the wider context of UK climate change policy, this talk will explain the history of the UK electricity sector over this period, including the “Electricity market reforms” introduced in 2013, which have helped to drive the transition. The talk – drawing on a recent report for MIT - will argue that this change was only possible because the UK used multiple policy instruments, which appeared to overlap but in fact helped to reinforce the transition, both reducing electricity use and encouraging new and cleaner investments. Finally, the talk will also briefly summarise recent developments of the European “Energy and climate change package” for 2030.