School of Social and Political Science

Dr Mark Winskel

Job Title

Senior Lecturer

Mark Winskel

Room number


Building (Address)

Chisholm House

Street (Address)

High School Yards

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

I have a number of related research interests:

Systematic evidence reviews

I have led and understaken several systematic evidence reviews to inform energy and climate policy, particularly for the Scottish and UK Governments. Some of my outputs here include:

Interdisciplinarity, expertise and research-policy exchange

This involves analysing the design, dynamics and outcomes of interdisciplinary energy research, and research-policy knowledge exchange. My outputs here include:

Whole System Energy Scenarios

Research Outputs here include:

Energy innovation systems and dynamics

I have a longstanding interest in energy innovation systems and energy transitions analysis. My outputs here include:

Current Projects

  • UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) (2019-24). 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, as part of UKERC's Technology and Policy Analysis (TPA) team. My current project, with Dr Phil Heptonstall, is looking at the past, present and future of heat pump installed costs.
  • EPSRC Integrate project (2020-24), ‘Integrating seasonal thermal storage with multiple energy sources to decarbonise thermal energy’. Co-Investigator (with Dr Ronan Bolton) on a workpackage considering the policy and regulatory framework for seasonal thermal energy storage in the UK and internationally.

Completed Projects

  • 'Energy Policy Effectiveness' for ClimateXChange (CXC) (2016-22). CXC is Scotland's national centre for expertise on climate change. I acted as an advisor to CXC from its inception in 2011, was a member of CXC's Directorate (2016-22), and was CXC's interim Policy Director (2019-20). The Energy Policy Effectiveness project conducted a series of systematic evidence reviews to support energy and climate policy development in Scotland.
  • The National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI). I led a project for CESI on designing and conducting energy systems integration (ESI) research (2019-21). This involved convening a series of academic and stakeholder workshop, and the development of good practice guidelines for ESI research.
  • 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' survey of UK energy researchers and stakeholders. A summary of the project and a briefing paper on the results is available here
  • EPSRC-Energy Systems Catapult project, Across Scales in Energy Decision-making (ASCEND) (2017). I was Co-Investigator on this scoping project. As part of the Ascend project, I convened a large research, stakeholder and policy workshop at the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI).  
  • In UKERC Phase 2 (2009-14) I led a project which analysed interdisciplinarity in energy research, especially 'whole systems' research. This included designing and running workshops, interviews and a large online survey. 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.

Roles and Responsibilities

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:

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”


Mark Winskel is Senior Lecturer in the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies group in the School of Social and Politics Science at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include energy policy, energy expertise, interdisciplinarity in energy research, and research-policy exchange. He is Course Organiser and/or Lecturer for a number of University of Edinburgh courses in these areas, including the Energy Policy and Politics postgraduate course, and is a co-founder and core teaching group member for the cross-School Energy, Society and Sustainability MSc

He was contributed extensively to the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). He was previously UKERC’s national Research Co-ordinator (2009-2014), a role that involved designing, supporting and leading collaborations between social scientists and economists, engineers and physical scientists, and environmental and biological scientists.

He also supports research-policy exchange in Scotland, particularly with ClimateXChange (CXC), Scotland's national centre for expertise on climate change. He was a member of CXC's Directorate (2016-2022) and served as CXC's interim Policy Director (2019-20).

He is a Steering Group member for the Centre for Science, Knowledge and Policy (SKAPE) at the University of Edinburgh (since 2021), which brings together academic researchers across a range of disciplines, as well as policy practitioners, to analyse and support science, evidence and policy linkages.

Mark has been closely involved in the creation and running of interdisciplinary energy networks at the University of Edinburgh, including 'Energy and Society'. He currently Co-Chairs the University-wide Energy@Edinburgh network, and is contributing to the development of the Edinburgh Earth Initiative.

Mark has acted as an independent 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.

Staff Hours and Guidance

Various, depending on the course. Please email me to make an appointment.

Undergraduate Teaching

Postgraduate Teaching

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Moncreiff H, Bolton R, Winskel M. Unpacking the strategy of an energy incumbent: A case study of a Dutch oil and gas company in transition. Energy Research & Social Science. 2024 May;111:1-9. 103490. Epub 2024 Feb 29. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2024.103490
Bolton R, Cameron L, Kerr N, Winskel M, Desguers T. Seasonal thermal energy storage as a complementary technology: Case study insights from Denmark and The Netherlands. Journal of Energy Storage. 2023 Dec;73(Part D):1-15. 109249. Epub 2023 Oct 16. doi: 10.1016/j.est.2023.109249
Kerr N, Winskel M. Have we been here before? Reviewing evidence of energy technology phase-out to inform home heating transitions. Energy Research and Social Science. 2022 Jul;89:102640. Epub 2022 Jun 6. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2022.102640
Parker K, Winskel M, Kerr N. The role and impact of innovation agencies: An international review. The University of Edinburgh, 2022. 37 p. doi: 10.7488/era/2128
Parker K, Winskel M, Kerr N. Industrial strategy in Scotland: A review of cluster-based initiatives. The University of Edinburgh, 2021. 50 p. doi: 10.7488/era/1366
Winskel M, Kattirtzi M. Transitions, disruptions and revolutions: Expert views on prospects for a smart and local energy revolution in the UK Energy Policy. Energy Policy. 2020 Sept 1;147:111815. Epub 2020 Sept 1. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111815
Kattirtzi M, Winskel M. When experts disagree: Using the Policy Delphi method to analyse divergent expert expectations and preferences on UK energy futures. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 2020 Apr;153:1-10. 119924. Epub 2020 Feb 13. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.119924
Kerr N, Winskel M. Household investment in home energy retrofit: A review of the evidence on effective public policy design for privately owned homes. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2020 Feb 27;123:109778. Epub 2020 Feb 27. doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2020.109778
Kerr N, Winskel M. Private household investment in home energy retrofit: reviewing the evidence and designing effective public policy. ClimateXChange, 2018.
Holland RA, Beaumont N, Hooper T, Austen M, Gross RJK, Heptonstall PJ et al. Incorporating ecosystem services into the design of future energy systems. Applied Energy. 2018 Jul 15;222:812-822. doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.04.022
Hooper T, Austen MC, Beaumont N, Heptonstall P, Holland RA, Ketsopoulou I et al. Do energy scenarios pay sufficient attention to the environment? Lessons from the UK to support improved policy outcomes. Energy Policy . 2018 Apr 1;115:397-408. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.01.028
Winskel M. The pursuit of interdisciplinary whole systems energy research: Insights from the UK Energy Research Centre. Energy Research & Social Science. 2018 Mar;37:74-84. Epub 2017 Oct 5. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.09.012
Winskel M. Beyond the disruption narrative: Varieties and ambiguities of energy system change. Energy Research & Social Science. 2018 Mar;37:232-237. Epub 2017 Nov 28. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.10.046
Bolton R, Silvast A, Winskel M. The Implications of Brexit for Energy Policy Future of the UK and Scotland, Centre on Constitutional Change, University of Edinburgh. 2016.
Bolton R, Silvast A, Winskel M. The Implications of Brexit for Energy Policy Scottish ClimateXChange. 2016.
Winskel M. From optimisation to diversity: Changing scenarios of UK buildings heating. In Hawkey D, Webb J, Lovell H, McCrone D, Tingey M, Winskel M, editors, Sustainable Urban Energy Systems. Abingdon: Routledge. 2016. p. 68-90
Hawkey D, Webb J, Lovell H, McCrone D, Tingey M, Winskel M. Sustainable Urban Energy Policy: Heat and the City. 1 ed. Abingdon: Routledge, 2015. 262 p. (Routledge Studies in Energy Policy). doi: 10.4324/9781315739533
Williams R, Liff S, Winskel M. Guest Editorial: second part: The Politics of Innovation for Environmental Sustainability: Celebrating the Contribution of Stewart Russell (1955–2011). Science & Technology Studies. 2015 Mar;28(1):3-9.
MacGillivray A, Jeffrey H, Winskel M, Bryden I. Innovation and Cost Reduction for Marine Renewable Energy: A learning investment sensitivity analysis. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 2014 Sept;87:108–124. Epub 2013 Dec 12. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2013.11.005
Winskel M. Embedding Social Sciences in Interdisciplinary Research: Recent Experiences from Interdisciplinary Energy Research. Science as Culture. 2014 Jul 16;23(3):413-418. doi: 10.1080/09505431.2014.926150
Winskel M, Radcliffe J, Skea J, Wang X. Remaking the UK's energy technology innovation system: From the margins to the mainstream. Energy Policy. 2014 May 1;68:591–602. Epub 2014 Feb 17. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.01.009
Winskel M, Radcliffe J. The rise of accelerated energy innovation and its implications for sustainable innovation studies: A UK perspective. Science & Technology Studies. 2014 Jan 1;27(1):8-33. doi: 10.23987/sts.55332
Winskel M, Markusson N, Jeffrey H, Candelise C, Dutton G, Howarth P et al. Learning pathways for energy supply technologies: Bridging between innovation studies and learning rates. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 2014 Jan;81:96-114. Epub 2013 Nov 5. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2012.10.015
Williams R, Liff S, Winskel M. Guest Editorial: The Politics of Innovation for Environmental Sustainability: Celebrating the Contribution of Stewart Russell (1955–2011). Science & Technology Studies. 2014;27(3):3-14.
Chalmers H, Gibbins J, Gross R, Haszeldine S, Heptonstall P, Kern F et al. Analysing uncertainties for CCS: From historical analogues to future deployment pathways in the UK. Energy Procedia. 2013 Dec 1;37:7668-7679. doi: 10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.712
Candelise C, Winskel M, Gross R. The dynamics of solar PV costs and prices as a challenge for technology forecasting. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2013 Oct;26:96-107. Epub 2013 Jun 19. doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2013.05.012
Jeffrey H, Winskel M, Jay B. Accelerating the development of marine energy: exploring the prospects, benefits and challenges. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 2013 Sept; Pages 1306-1316. Epub 2012 Mar 17. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2012.03.004
Hawkey D, Webb J, Winskel M. Organisation and Governance of Urban Energy Systems: District Heating and Cooling in the UK. Journal of Cleaner Production. 2013 Jul;50:22-31. Epub 2013 Feb 23. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.11.018
Winskel M. CCS: A disruptive technology for innovation theory. In Markusson N, Shackley S, Evar B, editors, The Social Dynamics of Carbon Capture And Storage: Understanding CCS Representations, Governance and Innovation. 1 ed. London: Earthscan-Routledge. 2012. p. 199-221. (Science in Society Series). doi: 10.4324/9780203118726
Winskel M. Carbon Capture and Storage: A Disruptive Innovation for Innovation Theory. In Markusson N, Shackley S, Evar B, editors, The Social Dynamics of Carbon Capture and Storage: Understanding CCS Representations, Governance and Innovation. London: Routledge. 2012. p. 199-221
Watson J, (ed.), Kern F, Gross M, Gross R, Heptonstall P, Jones F et al. Carbon Capture and Storage: Realising the Potential? UK Energy Research Centre, 2012. 52 p.
Candelise C, Winskel M, Gross R. Implications for CdTe and CIGS technologies production costs of indium and tellurium scarcity. Progress In Photovoltaics. 2012;20(6):816-831. Epub 2012 Jun 13. doi: 10.1002/pip.2216
Heptonstall P, Markusson N, Chalmers H, Winskel M. Carbon Capture and Storage: Realising the potential? 2012. (UKERC ‘Pathways and branching points for CCS to 2030’ Work Package 3, Task 6 Working Paper).
Hudson L, Winskel M, Allen S. The hesitant emergence of low carbon technologies in the UK: The micro-CHP innovation system. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management. 2011 Mar 1;23(3):297-312. doi: 10.1080/09537325.2011.550396
Winskel M, Anandarajah G, Skea J, Jay B. Accelerating the Development of Energy Supply Technologies: The Role of Research and Innovation. In Skea J, Ekins P, Winskel M, editors, Energy 2050: Making the Transition to a Secure Low-Carbon System. London: Earthscan. 2011. p. 187-218
Mukora A, Winskel M, Jeffrey H, Mueller M. Learning curves for emerging energy technologies. Energy. 2009 Nov;162(4):151-159. doi: 10.1680/ener.2009.162.4.151
Jeffrey H, Winskel M. The Opportunity and Challenge for Ocean Energy as Part of Energy System Decarbonisation: The UK Scenario. 2009.
Jeffrey H, Winskel M, Mueller M. An Overview of the Issues Associated with the Future Costing of Marine Energy and the Application of Learning Rate Theory. In Invited Paper, Proceedings of the International Coastal and Offshore Engineering Conference. Brest. 2008
Mueller M, Jeffrey H, Winskel M, Wallace R. The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Ocean Energy. 2008
Jeffrey H, Winskel M, Mueller M. Learning Rates and Cost Reduction in the Marine Energy Sector. In Proceedings of the Annual British Institute for Energy Economics. 2008
Mukora A, Jeffrey H, Winskel M, Mueller M. Wave Energy Technology Development Review in the UK: Application of the Learning Curve Concept, 1970-1999. 2008.
Winskel M. Marine energy innovation in the UK energy system: Financial capital, social capital and interactive learning. International Journal of Global Energy Issues. 2007 Oct 25;27(4):472-491. Epub 2007 Aug 13. doi: 10.1504/IJGEI.2007.014868
Winskel M, McLeod A, Wallace R, Williams R. Energy policy and institutional context: marine energy innovation systems. Science and Public Policy. 2006;33(5):365-376. doi: 10.3152/147154306781778939
Winskel M. Autonomy's End: Nuclear Power and the Privatization of the British Electricity Supply Industry. Social Studies of Science. 2002;32(3):439-467.
Winskel M. When Systems are Overthrown: The 'Dash for Gas' in the British Electricity Supply Industry. Social Studies of Science. 2002;32(4):565-599.