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We help clients navigate the increasingly complex energy market to get the best value from the opportunities it offers.

The world is now more dependent than ever on energy with the demand for urban energy under increasing pressure. With usage levels rapidly expanding and the Energy Trilemma becoming more prominent, we are working with clients to shape a better world through the efficient, affordable and sustainable sourcing of energy, its dispatch and use.

Providing value and insight

Arup contributes innovatively across a number of energy markets using our skills and geographies to advise on policy, programmes, projects and usage to take the best energy thinking forwards whilst delivering the most viable and efficient solutions.

Our collaboration with leading organisations such as Siemens allows us to analyse market opportunities for clients, like we did in our distributed energy report which outlines investment suggestions for business looking to take control of their energy usage and become a ‘pro-sumer’

Our emphasis is towards transitional and future energy whilst improving the quality and reducing consequences of existing legacy energy. We've developed a series of five minute guides about various energy solutions and sources.

We operate independently and understand both the leading and emerging technologies and the way the increasingly complex energy markets work to provide services that help our clients get the best value from their initiatives. For example, we’ve been working with Sibanye Gold to develop a solar facility in South Africa to power their operations facilities.

Addressing the Energy Trilemma

There are three challenges that have to be addressed when facing investment in energy and demand and these three challenges imply a trade-off when choosing one over the other. These three elements that make up the Energy Trilemma:

  • Energy Security - the effective management of primary energy supply from domestic and external sources, the reliability of energy infrastructure, and the ability of energy providers to meet current and future demand.

  • Energy Sustainability - the indication of its propensity to create damaging pollution.

  • Energy Affordability - the accessibility and affordability of energy supply across the population.

Energy low carbon image overlay. Credit: Arup
Energy low carbon image overlay. Credit: Arup

The Energy Trilemma

As world population continues exponentially growing, demand for energy will grow with it. Global energy demand is expected to increase just as fast and potentially double by 2050.

To keep up with global energy demand, the investment requirements for energy infrastructure are nearly US$50 trillion between now and 2050.

With such a large portion of money being invested, and the need for energy becoming ever so critical, the method of resource allocation is paramount.

There are three challenges that have to be addressed when facing investment in energy and demand, and these three challenges imply a trade-off when choosing one over the other. These three challenges constitute the Energy Trilemma:

  • Energy Security
  • Energy Affordability
  • Energy Sustainability

Find out more in our Energy trilemma five minute guide

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We are working closely with a number of countries, cities and organisations to help them to make informed decisions about energy projects. Success for an energy programme relies on understanding the driver for change and Arup is well positioned to assist clients who want to take advantage of the opportunities this change brings. Examples include our UK Legislation Timeline, our market readiness study for North Sea Decommissioning, a national cost-benefit assessment of smart grid and smart city readiness for Australia’s energy future. 

We’ve looked at the impact of urbanisation on energy in cities in a report on behalf of the World Energy Council and have successfully outlined five core areas for development and innovation. Our concept of urban energy allows public and private organisations to assess the best opportunities for them in the challenging market.

Expertise for every stage of your project

We understand that clients looking to embark on a new energy project may not be an operator or a provider, but an organisation looking to take control of their usage and supply, or an investor interested in energy. Arup works across a range of markets from developers and operators, to diverse cities and organisations offering services in three streams:

We have the ability to support our clients’ objectives by combining the appropriate services from our business-offerings, this allows us to deliver successful tailored solutions each time.

Experience across the energy markets from supply to demand

We support clients by bringing cross-sector experience to challenging projects in the energy market which covers power, heat and transport. Our understanding of the built environment spanning from supply to demand means we are active across the core energy markets.

Global contact

  • Ian Gardner
  • Global Energy Leader
  • Alan Thomson

    Alan Thomson

    Alan Thomson, portrait photo

    Global Leader for Thermal Energy and Nuclear Energy, UKMEA Leader for Energy

    Your best solution to date?

    Development of the UK nuclear power siting assessment model.

    Why is it significant?

    The model engages wide ranging Arup skills to carefully evaluate optimal deployment of the nuclear power generation capacity needed to ensure affordable, secure and low carbon electricity.

    Your particular skill?

    Implementation of large scale electrical power generation.


    Grasping a challenge and driving to an effectively implemented solution.

    Why Arup?

    The environment to turn thoughts into reality through the skills and dedication of exceptional people.

    Anything else?

    Just talking about climate change is no longer enough.

  • t: +44 (0) 121 213 3000
  • e:
  • Solihull [16:21]

Explore our work

Multi-products pipeline

Project: Multi-products pipeline

South Africa’s largest pipeline project, valued at US$2bn.

Read more

Europe-wide CO2 infrastructure study.

Project: Europe-wide CO2 infrastructure study

Future planning for carbon capture and storage in Europe.

Read more

Offshore power generation due diligence.

Project: Offshore power transmission due diligence (OFTO)

Assessment of tenders for UK offshore renewable energy transmission licences.

Read more

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Campaign: Lower-carbon energy: the future is now

Transitioning to lower-carbon energy sources is underway

Read more

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