The ASCEND workshop brought together policy, business, research and other communities to discuss the challenges of whole energy systems analysis and decision-making across scales, and identify opportunities for improved analysis and strategy.

Participants first looked at the energy system as a whole, including: 

  • model-linking across scales,
  • system integration across vectors,
  • good practice in scenario design; and
  • dealing with uncertainty in decision-making.

The afternoon focused on cross-scale analysis and strategy in the heat sector, looking at issues such as

  • linking national strategy with local master-planning,
  • iterating between long-term whole system pathways and emerging demonstration and pilot studies; and
  • how to represent new policy drivers (industrial strategy, local economic impacts, equity and affordability) in whole systems analysis.

The event, held at ECCI in November 2017, formed part of the ‘Ascend’ scoping project, supported by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council) and Energy Systems Catapult. The project involves the universities of Birmingham, Leeds and Edinburgh, and University College London. The workshop showcased emerging findings from project researchers and others.

For more information, please contact Dr Mark Winskel at the University of Edinburgh.