Gemma Delafield

Department: Economics
Discipline: Economics
Research Centre/Unit: Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute

Project Summary

Research title ‘Quantitative Analysis of the Environment-Energy Nexus’

Gemma’s research will focus upon the optimal spatial design of policies. While the quantitative methods developed will be applicable across a broad range of contexts, the particular area of application will concern where to place multiple new energy generation facilities and the transmission infrastructure to connect them to markets. That particular location decision requires trade-offs along multiple dimensions including engineering feasibility, construction costs, market access and, of principal interest, damages to natural capital and the ecosystems services it provides.

This research will build on work begun as part of the National Ecosystem Assessment Follow On Project (Bateman, Day et al., 2014) in which methods of Mixed Integer Linear Programming were employed to design optimal spatial policies for the siting of new mixed woodlands in the UK (Day and De Gol, in preparation). Moreover, the work will break new academic ground by exploring methods of robust spatial optimization, methods that specifically acknowledge uncertainties in the costs and benefits of the environmental impacts of energy infrastructure siting decisions. The robust optimization routines will search for a spatial configuration of the energy system that, while seeking to optimize net benefits, protects against excessive losses if the costs of ecosystem service damages turn out to be at the extremes of expected ranges.

Supervisory Team

Professor Brett Day (UoE), Professor Ian Bateman (UoE) and Dr Paolo Agnolucci (UCL).

Wider Research Interests

Natural capital, ecosystem services, valuation of ecosystem services, renewable energy, environmental policy, energy policy, climate change.