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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Mark Winskel

Mark Winskel
Dr Mark Winskel
Senior Chancellor's Research Fellow on Energy Innovation
F3 Chisholm House High School Yards Edinburgh UK EH1 1LZ
+44 (0)131 651 4086
Research Interests
Sociology of energy innovation, expertise and interdisciplinarity, sociotechnical system change, energy policy and politics, research-policy exchange, energy organisations and institutions, innovation systems

Research Interests

I research the socio-technical dynamics of energy innovation, energy system change and interdisciplinary energy research, based in the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies group in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh. I also work with the UK Energy Research Centre and ClimateXChange, Scotland's national centre for expertise on climate change.

My research involves drawing on concepts from Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS), to address energy research and energy system change. I also study interdisciplinarity in energy research. My past role as national Research Co-ordinator for the UK Energy Research Centre involved initiating, supporting and leading collaborations between researchers from the social sciences, engineering and physical sciences and environmental sciences on energy and climate change research problems. I led a review of interdisciplinary research achievements and lessons in Phase 2 of the UK Energy Research Centre to help inform Phase 3 UKERC research from 2014.

My research work in Phase 3 UKERC (2014-19) involves developing possible pathways of energy system change, drawing on UKERC's interdisciplinary research programme. I also support UKERC's policy engagement and research-policy exchange efforts in Scotland.

In my Chancellors Fellowship on Energy innovation (2014-19) I am developing further research on interdisciplinarity in energy, research-policy exchange, and the role of experts and institutions in energy policy and research.

I also work for ClimateXChange on energy policy and research issues.

More details are at my personal website

I have an interdisciplinary educational background, with degrees in physical, environmental and social sciences.


Academic Journal Papers

Watson, J., R. Gross, I. Ketsopoulou and M. Winskel (2015) 'The Impact of uncertainties on the UK's medium-term climate change targets', Energy Policy,  Energy Policy, 87, 685–695 :10.1016/j.enpol.2015.02.030

R. Williams, S. Liff and M. Winskel (2015) ‘The Politics of Innovation for Environmental Sustainability: Celebrating the Contribution of Stewart Russell (1955–2011) Vol. 1: Science and Technology Studies, 27, 3, 3-14; Vol. 2: Science and Technology Studies, 28, 1, 3-9.

M. Winskel (2014). 'Embedding Social Sciences in Interdisciplinary Research: Recent Experiences from Interdisciplinary Energy Research' Science as Culture 23(3): 413-418. DOI: 10.1080/09505431.2014.926150

M. Winskel and J. Radcliffe (2014), ‘The rise of accelerated energy innovation and its implications for sustainable innovation studies: a UK perspective’, Science and Technology Studies, 27, 1, 8-33

M. Winskel, J. Radcliffe, J. Skea and X. Wang (2014) 'Remaking the UK's energy technology innovation system: From the margins to the mainstream', Energy Policy, 68, 591-602, DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.01.009

H. Jeffrey, A. McGillivray, M. Winskel and I. Bryden (2014), ‘Innovation and Cost Reduction for Marine Renewable Energy: a Learning Investment sensitivity analysis’, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 87, 108-124, DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2013.11.005

M.Winskel, N. Markusson, H. Jeffrey, C. Candelise, G. Dutton, P. Howarth, S. Jablonski, C. Kalyvas and D. Ward (2014) 'Between Learning Rates and Innovation Studies: Learning Pathways for Emerging Energy Supply Technologies', Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 81, 96–114, DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2012.10.015

Candelise, C., Winskel, M. & Gross, R (2013) The dynamics of solar PV costs and prices as a challenge for technology forecasting. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 26, p. 96-107, DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2013.05.012

H. Jeffrey, B. Jay and M. Winskel (2013) ‘Accelerating marine energy: Exploring the prospects, benefits and impacts, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 80, 1306–1316, DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2012.03.004

Hawkey, D., Webb, J. and Winskel, M. (2013) Organisation and Governance of Urban Energy Systems: District Heating and Cooling in the UK,  Journal of Cleaner Production, 50, p. 22-31, 10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.11.018

C. Candelise, M. Winskel and R. Gross (2012) 'Implications for PV technologies of indium and tellurium scarcity' Progress in Photovoltaics, 20, 816-831, DOI: 10.1002/pip.2216

L.Hudson, M. Winskel and S. Allen (2011) The hesitant emergence of low carbon technologies in the UK: the micro-CHP innovation system', Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Volume 23, Issue 3 March 2011 , 297 - 312  DOI: 10.1080/09537325.2011.550396
A. Mukora, M. Winskel, H. F. Jeffrey and M. Mueller (2009) Learning curves for emerging energy technologies, Proceedings of the ICE - Energy, Volume 162, Issue 4, November 2009  DOI: 10.1680/ener.2009.162.4.151

M. Winskel (2007) ‘Renewable Energy Innovation: Collaborative Learning and Intellectual Property’. International Journal of Global Energy Issues, Vol. 27, No. 4, 472-491. DOI:

M. Winskel, A. McLeod, R. Wallace, R. Williams (2006) ‘Energy Policy and Institutional Context: Marine Energy Innovation Systems’, Science and Public Policy, Vol. 33, No. 5, 365-376, June 2006.

M. Winskel (2002) ‘When Systems are Overthrown: The ‘Dash for Gas’ in the British Electricity Supply Industry’ Social Studies of Science, Vol. 32, No. 4, 565-599, August 2002.

M. Winskel (2002) ‘Autonomy’s End: Nuclear Power and the Privatization of the British Electricity Supply Industry’ Social Studies of Science, Vol. 32, No. 3, 439-467, June 2002

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

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.

Working Papers, Policy Papers and Consultancy Reports

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.

Book Reviews, Magazine Articles, Blogposts

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 

Topics interested in supervising

I am interested in supervising PhD applicants on topics related to energy system change, energy policy, energy innovation and energy expertise and organisations, especially from a STIS (Science, Technology and Innovation Studies) analytical perspective.

If you are interested in being supervised by Mark Winskel, please see the links below for more information:

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