Mark Winskel's profile

Dr Mark Winskel


Senior Lecturer


Science Technology and Innovation Studies

E-Mail Telephone

+44 (0)131 651 4086


1.21 Chisholm House

High School Yards

Edinburgh, UK


Mark Winskel is Senior Lecturer in the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies research group. His current research includes work on energy expertise and research-policy exchange for the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).

He also supports UKERC's policy engagement efforts in Scotland, and works closely with ClimateXChange (CXC), Scotland's national centre for expertise on climate change. He was CXC's Policy Director (2019-20) and is a member of CXC's Directorate (since 2016).

He was previously UKERC’s national Research Co-ordinator, a role that involved designing, supporting and leading collaborations between social scientists and economists, engineers and physical scientists, and environmental and biological scientists. Other research interests include evidence review, whole energy system change and energy scenarios.

He has acted as an advisor for the International Energy Agency, the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament and many others.  He has been researching energy systems, policies and organisations for over 25 years.

Research Interests

Expertise and interdisciplinarity sociotechnical system change energy policy and politics research-policy exchange energy organisations and institutions energy innovation systems Climate change and energy policy scenarios and futures

Research Overview

My research interests cover a number of related themes:

Interdisciplinarity, expertise, evidence and research-policy exchange

My outputs here include:

I am also involved in conducting evidence reviews to support energy and climate policy. A recent research output here is:

Whole System Energy Scenarios

Research Outputs here include:

Energy innovation systems and dynamics

My outputs here include:

Current Projects

  • UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). I have been involved with UKERC since 2006, and I was UKERC's national Research Co-ordinator for five years (2009-14). In 'Phase 4' UKERC (2019-2024), I am working on evidence reviews and research-policy exchange.
  • ClimateXChange (CXC). CXC is Scotland's national centre for expertise on climate change. I have been involved with CXC since its inception in 2011, I have been a member of CXC's Directorate since 2016, and was CXC's interim Policy Director, 2019-20. I lead a project for CXC on 'Energy Policy Effectiveness', which conducts evidence reviews to support energy and climate policy development in Scotland. Dr Niall Kerr is the CXC Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the project.
  • The National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI). I have recently led a project for CESI on conducting interdisciplinary research for whole energy systems integration. The project results are now being written up for publication.

Completed Projects

  • In UKERC Phase 3 (2014-19) I led a project which analysed expert views on UK energy system change. Working with Dr Michael Kattirtzi, this involved a major 'Policy Delphi' of UK energy researchers and stakeholders. A summary of the project and a briefing paper on our results is available here
  • In UKERC Phase 2 (2009-14) I led a project which analysed interdisciplinarity in energy research, especially 'whole systems' research. I worked on this project with Tim Churchouse and Dr. Ioanna Ketsopoulou. An introduction to the work and the UKERC research report on the project is available here
  • In UKERC Phase 1 (2004-09) I was co-leader of a large interdisciplinary project on the future of the UK energy system, the 'Energy 2050' project. I co-edited and co-authored a book (with Professors Jim Skea and Paul Ekins), and a UKERC report on the findings. I also led an interdisciplinary programme of work on 'Accelerated Energy Innovation', leading to a major UKERC Working Paper.

Other Research Activities

Guidance and Feedback Hours

Various - depending on which course. Please email me if you would like an appointment outside my course hours.

Undergraduate Teaching

Postgraduate Teaching

Other Teaching Activities

  • I have successfully supervised the dissertations of around 50 Masters students at the University of Edinburgh, on a wide range of topics and disciplinary perspectives related to energy systems, policy and research.

PhD Topics

I am interested in supervising PhD applicants on topics related to research-policy exchange and expertise, interdisciplinarity in energy studies, whole energy systems research and policy, and energy and climate policy, especially from a STIS (Science, Technology and Innovation Studies) analytical perspective.

Find out more about the programmes that I am involved with:

PhD in Science and Technology Studies; MSc (R) Science and Technology Studies

Current PhD Students

  • Harry Moncreiff (with Dr Ronan Bolton) 'Energy Systems in Transition: oil and gas company strategies in relation to low carbon energy'
  • Andreas Lindemann (with Dr. Ronan Bolton) 'Understanding governance of energy networks through transition cost allocation'

Completed PhD Students

  • Evangelos Gazis (2015) (with Dr Chiara Candelise) 'Development and Diffusion of Building-Integrated Photovoltaics: Analysing Innovation Dynamics in Multi-Sectoral Technologies'
  • Seyed Emamian (2014) (with Professor Robin Williams) 'Characterising and explaining the UK electricity policy change, with focus on Electricity Market Reform'
  • Audrey Mukora (2013) (with Professor Markus Mueller) 'Learning Curves for Emerging Energy Technologies:
    “Integrating Learning Curves with Engineering Assessments for Modelling Technical Change in Early Stage Low Carbon Energy Supply Technologies”

Academic Journal Papers

Books, Book Chapters

  • M. Winskel (2016) ‘From optimisation to diversity: Changing scenarios of UK buildings heating’ in D. Hawkey, J. Webb, D. McCrone. H. Lovell and M Winskel Sustainable Urban Energy Systems, pp.68-90, Routledge, London. A working paper version is available here
  • M.Winskel (2012) 'Carbon Capture and Storage: A Disruptive Innovation for Innovation Theory' in N. Markusson, S. Shackley and B. Evar Shaping the Future of CCS: Understanding Carbon Capture and Storage Systems and Knowledge from Social Science Perspectives,  Taylor and Francis, London
  • J. Skea, P. Ekins and M. Winskel (eds.) (2011) Energy 2050: Making the Transition to a Secure Low-Carbon  System, Earthscan, London
  • M. Winskel, G. Anandarajah, J. Skea and B. Jay (2011) 'Accelerating the Development of Energy Supply Technologies:The Role of Research and Innovation' in J. Skea, P. Ekins and M Winskel (eds.) (2011) Energy 2050: Making the Transition to a Secure Low-Carbon System, Earthscan, London
  • J. Skea, P. Ekins and M. Winskel (2011) 'UK Energy Policy and Institutions' in J. Skea, P. Ekins and M Winskel (eds.) (2011) Energy 2050: Making the Transition to a Secure Low-Carbon  System, Earthscan, London
  • J. Skea, X. Wang and M. Winskel (2011) UK Energy in an Era of Globalization: Trends, Technologies and Environmental Impacts in J. Skea, P. Ekins and M Winskel (eds.) (2011) Energy 2050: Making the Transition to a Secure Low-Carbon  System, Earthscan, London
  • P. Ekins, M. Winskel and J. Skea (2011) 'Putting It All Together: Implications for Policy and Action' in J. Skea, P. Ekins and M Winskel (eds.) (2011) Energy 2050: Making the Transition to a Secure Low-Carbon  System, Earthscan, London
  • M. Winskel (2007) ‘Multi-level Governance and Energy Policy: Renewable Energy in Scotland’ in J. Murphy (ed.) Governing Technology for Sustainability. London. Earthscan, pp182-199.
  • J. Skea, P. Ekins and M. Winskel (eds.) (2011) Energy 2050: Making the Transition to a Secure Low-Carbon System, Earthscan, London

Working Papers, Policy Papers and Consultancy Reports

M. Winskel. and M. Kattirtzi (2019) 'Disruption and Continuity in the UK Energy Transition: What do the experts think?' Results of the UKERC and CXC survey of UK energy experts and stakeholders, Briefing Note for the UK Energy Reseach Centre, April 2019, Available from here

Watson, J. and M. Winskel (eds.) (2017) ‘Scottish Energy Strategy: The Future of Energy in Scotland: Consultation response by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC)’, UK Energy Research Centre, London

Low, R., M. Winskel and A. Kerr (2017)  CXC consultation response: Draft Scottish Energy Strategy: The future of energy in Scotland, ClimateXChange, Edinburgh

M. Winskel (2015) 'Systems Thinking and Systems Modelling for Low Carbon Heating: Changing scenarios of domestic heating futures in the UK' Working Paper, March 2015

M. Winskel, D. Hawkey and R. Bolton (2014) ‘UK Energy System in Transition: Technology, Infrastructure and Investment’, UK Energy Research Centre / Edinburgh Centre for Carbon innovation, April 2014

M. Winskel, I. Ketsopoulou and T. Churchouse (2014) UKERC Interdisciplinary Review: Synthesis Report, UKERC Working Paper, London

M. Winskel (2013) ‘Energy Independence and Interdependence: a Workshop on Scotland’s Energy Future’, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation / UK Energy Research Centre, December 2013

M. Winskel (2013) ‘Energy and People: attitudes, behaviours and policies’, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation / UK Energy Research Centre, December 2013

H. Jeffrey and M. Winskel (2010) 'The Opportunity and Challenge for Ocean Energy as part of Energy System Decarbonisation: the UK Scenario' International Energy Agency, IEA-OES Annual Report 2009.

N. Markusson, B. Jay, M. Winskel and R. Bellingham (2010) Governing Decarbonisation in Scotland: Exploring the Transitions Options Report for the Scottish Government, Scottish Institute for Advanced Studies, Glasgow.

Winskel, M., N. Markusson, B. Moran and H. Jeffrey (eds.) (2009) Accelerated Development of Low Carbon Energy Supply Technologies (2009) UKERC Research Report, London.

M. Winskel, N. Markusson and H. Jeffrey (2008) ‘Technology Change and Energy Systems: Learning Pathways for Future Sources of Energy’ UKERC Working Paper, London.

M. Winskel and B. Moran (2008) 'Innovation Studies and Low Carbon Innovation: Recent Theoretical and Empirical Developments', report for the Carbon Trust, London.

M. Winskel (2007) 'Renewable Energy Networks and Clusters', report for One North East, Newcastle and Ove Arup, London.

Blogposts, Book Reviews, Magazine Articles, etc.

M. Winskel and M. Kattirtzi, 'Disruption and Continuity in the UK Energy Transition: What do the experts think?', UK Energy Research Centre blogpost, May 2019

M. Kattirtzi and M. Winskel, 'The energy transition: repurposing or disruption?', New Power magazine, May 6th 2019

M. Winskel ‘The analytical and political challenges of integrated energy policy making in Scotland’ University of Edinburgh ‘Energy and Society’ blogpost, May 2017

M. Winskel ‘Reconciling Energy Policy with Industrial Strategy: a commentary on the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper’ blogpost for ClimateXChange, March 2017

M. Winskel ‘Mixing ambition with risk: climate and energy policymaking in Scotland’ blogpost for UKERC, February 2017

M. Winskel ‘Towards an Integrated Energy Strategy for Scotland’, UK Energy Research Centre blog article, Sept 2016

M. Winskel (2015) 'Doing Interdisciplinary Whole Systems Research: Looking back on UKERC's first 10 years', May 2015 (National Energy Research Network Blogpost).

M. Winskel (2014) 'Devolving further energy policy powers: a short commentary for the Smith Commission', Personal submission to the Smith Commission, October 2014. 

M. Winskel (2014) Voters aren’t getting a full picture of UK energy prospects if Scotland leaves the union, UK Energy Research Centreand The Conversation, April 2014

M.Winskel, C. Candelise, H. Jeffrey and B. Jay (2010) 'How to Accelerate the Development of Renewable Energy' Energy World, November 2010

M. Winskel (2007) 'Governing Technology by Intellectual Property Rights' review of Intellectual Property Rights: Innovation,Governance and the Institutional Environment edited by Birgitte Andersen, in Science and Public Policy, July 2007, 450-452

M. Winskel (2007) Review of 'Energy and culture: perspectives on the power to work', by Brendan Dooley (Ed.) in Science of the Total Environment 376 (2007) 359–360

M. Winskel (2006) 'Taking the Initiative' Energy Engineering May / June 2006, 37-39