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Linking a storyline with multiple models: a cross-scale study of the UK power system transition

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posted on 2017-06-09, 09:22 authored by Evelina Trutnevyte, John BartonJohn Barton, Aine O'Grady, Damiete Emmanuel-Yusuf, Danny Pudjianto, Elizabeth M. Robertson
State-of-the-art scenario exercises in the energy and environment fields argue for combining qualitative storylines with quantitative modelling. This paper proposes an approach for linking a highly detailed storyline with multiple, diverse models. This approach is illustrated through a cross-scale study of the UK power system transition until 2050. The storyline, called Central Co-ordination, is linked with insights from six power system models and two appraisal techniques. First, the storyline is ‘translated’ into harmonised assumptions on power system targets for the models. Then, a new concept called the landscape of models is introduced. This landscape helps to map the key fields of expertise of individual models, including their temporal, spatial and disciplinary foci. The storyline is then assessed based on the cross-scale modelling results. While the storyline is important for transmitting information about governance and the choices of key actors, many targets aspired in it are inconsistent with modelling results. The storyline overestimates demand reduction levels, uptake of marine renewables and irreplaceability of carbon capture and storage. It underestimates the supply–demand balancing challenge, the need for back-up capacity and the role of nuclear power and interconnectors with Europe. Thus, iteratively linking storylines and models is key.


This work was conducted as a part of the Realising Transition Pathways consortium project, supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grant EP/ K005316/1).



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Technological Forecasting and Social Change




26 - 42


TRUTNEVYTE, E. ... et al., 2014. Linking a storyline with multiple models: a cross-scale study of the UK power system transition. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 89, pp.26-42.


© Elsevier


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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