Charlie Heaps

Senior Scientist

Somerville, MA
skype: charlieheaps
+1 (617) 627-3786 x3#

Charlie is a senior scientist in SEI's Climate and Energy Program. He also served as Center Director from 2006 to 2014.

Charlie is the developer of LEAP: the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning System developed at SEI, a leading energy and environmental planning tool used in hundreds of organizations and dozens of countries worldwide.

For about 20 years, Charlie has worked around the world conducting workshops, undertaking energy studies and providing training and assistance to users of LEAP. He also manages COMMEND, a web-based community for energy planners in developing countries.

In addition to developing LEAP, Charlie has developed a range of other software tools and websites for energy and environmental planning, including GreenTrips (a web-based tool for households to plan their transport emissions), and IDENTIFY (a spreadsheet-based tool for industrial climate mitigation project planning developed for UNIDO).

Charlie has also been a major contributor to the development of other SEI software tools, including WEAP and PoleStar.

Charlie received a Ph.D. from the Centre for Environmental Technology, Imperial College, London in 1990.

Recent Publications by Charlie Heaps


An integrated assessment of water-energy and climate change in Sacramento, California: How strong is the nexus?

Climatic Change, online July 14, 2015

Author(s): Dale, L.L. ; Purkey, D. ; Heaps, C. ; Sieber, J. ; Karali, N.; Millstein, D.; Carnall, M.; Vicuña, S.; Borchers, N.; Bustos, E.; O'Hagan, J.; Collins, W.D.; Sohn, M.D.
Year: 2015

Research Area(s): Water Resources ; Energy Modeling ; Adaptation & Vulnerability

Description: This paper is among the first to report on the full integration of basin-scale models that include projections of the demand and supply of water and energy for residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural sector users. The authors link two widely used regional planning models, WEAP and LEAP, to study the impact of rising climate variability on water and electricity use in Sacramento, Calif. Historical data, combined with the current energy and water system configuration, were used to assess the implications of changes in temperature and precipitation. Climate simulations suggest that electricity imports to the region would increase during hot dry spells, when regional power production is most constrained. In particular, regional imports of electricity would increase over 35% in hot dry years, assuming a 4°C increase in average temperature and a 25% decrease in average precipitation.
External Link


SEI Research Synthesis: Climate change mitigation and bioenergy

SEI Research Synthesis Brief, Reducing Climate Risk theme

Author(s): Davis, M. ; Heaps, C. ; Lazarus, M. ; Erickson, P. ; Johnson, F.X.; Nilsson, M.
Year: 2014

Research Area(s): Climate Mitigation Policy


Avoiding dangerous climate change requires ambitious actions to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SEI works to inform, support and advise decision-makers and civil society on ways to achieve these reductions and build a low-carbon future – including the role of bioenergy. SEI's research on climate mitigation is broad and diverse, with significant contributions to both the scientific community and policy discourses around the world. We have also built tools and analytical frameworks to explore the options, from the global to the local level, and we work to build capacity for mitigation planning and analysis. This brief, part of a series synthesizing SEI research from 2009 to 2013, presents three key insights from our work, an overview of major projects and publications, and a look at new and ongoing work as well as future research pathways.
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Energy for a Shared Development Agenda: Global Scenarios and Governance Implications

SEI Report

Author(s): Nilsson, M. ; Heaps, C. ; Persson, Å; Carson, M.; Pachauri, S.; Kok, M.; Olsson, M.; Rehman, I.; Schaeffer, R.; Wood, D.; van Vuuren, D.; Riahi, K.; Americano, B.; Mulugetta; Y.
Year: 2012

Research Area(s): Energy Modeling ; Climate Mitigation Policy ; Sustainable Futures

Description: This report combines a global assessment of energy scenarios up to 2050, case studies of energy access and low-carbon efforts around the world, and a review of the technological shifts, investments, policies and governance structures needed to bring energy to all. It finds that it is, indeed, possibly to meet energy needs for human and economic development in a way that is compatible with sustainable development. However, what is required is nothing less than a massive transformation of energy systems and rapid turnovers of infrastructure and technology, driven by strong policies and a shared development agenda across the global North and South.
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Europe's Share of the Climate Challenge

Report published by SEI in partnership with Friends of the Earth Europe.

Author(s): Heaps, C. ; Erickson, P. ; Kartha, S. ; Kemp-Benedict, E.
Year: 2009

Research Area(s): Energy Modeling ; Climate Mitigation Policy ; Sustainable Futures

Description: This report examines how Europe can show leadership: firstly, by undertaking domestic actions to rapidly reduce emissions of GHGs, and secondly, by fulfilling its international obligations to help other countries address the twin crises of climate change and development.
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A Deep Carbon Reduction Scenario for China

Paper presented at Mid-term Review Meeting of the China Economics of Climate Change Initiative.

Author(s): Heaps, C.
Year: 2009

Research Area(s): Energy Modeling ; Climate Mitigation Policy ; Sustainable Futures

Description: This paper developed a scenario analysis of how China's energy systems might be altered over the coming decades to allow China to meet ambitious goals for development at the same time as keeping GHG emissions within tight budgets that provide a reasonable chance of keeping global temperature increases below 2 °C. Two scenarios were developed. A Baseline scenario examines current and historical trends in China's CO2 emissions and projects CO2 emissions to 2050 assuming that China continues to develop very rapidly. A second Deep Carbon Reduction Scenario (DCRS) examines the feasibility of massively reducing China's CO2 emissions in 2050: with energy sector GHG emissions reduced to only 10% of the 2050 levels projected in the baseline scenario or 15% below the level in 1990
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