Andy Philpott

Title of Presentation: Zero Carbon Analytics


Climate change from global warming is the most critical problem currently facing mankind. The deleterious effects of global warming have already been felt in 2019 in terms of storms, heatwaves and forest fires. Climate-based natural disasters in the longer term threaten to be much worse. Policies to deal with this problem must combine efforts to reduce global warming by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions with actions that adapt to worsening climate outcomes. Determining the best policy settings is a highly complex decision problem, involving complex interacting systems and markets, many stakeholders, many decision criteria, and huge uncertainty. In other words, it is a major opportunity for operations researchers.

This talk will illustrate some of the analytics challenges in planning a net-zero carbon economy with a focus on electricity systems. Models range from short-term operations (like dealing with intermittent renewable energy) to long-term investment planning to ensure security of energy supply in an uncertain future. Planning models are complemented with equilibrium models that represent the effects of risk-averse agent behaviour. The models will be illustrated with a New Zealand case study based on our recent work for the New Zealand Interim Climate Change Committee in planning a 100% renewable electricity system.


Andy Philpott is Professor of Operations Research and co-director of the Electric Power Optimization Center at the University of Auckland. His research interests are in stochastic optimization and game theory and their application to electricity markets. Dr Philpott currently serves on the editorial board of Operations Research, and has previously served on the editorial boards of Mathematical Programming and Operations Research Letters. Dr Philpott is an Edelman Laureate and a Fellow of INFORMS.