2050 Calculator

Posted by – 2012/06/12

Intro­du­cing the Ener­gyNum­bers 2050 Path­ways calculator

The DECC 2050 cal­cu­lator is a good start at pro­du­cing a toy model to give some ideas of the trade-offs, and approx­im­ate orders of mag­nitude of costs involved in con­vert­ing Britain’s energy sys­tems into a low-carbon system.

But it has its flaws.

So I’ve revised some of the model’s weak­est parts, and re-released it. Here’s the Ener­gyNum­bers 2050 Path­ways calculator

A sum­mary of the changes (most recent, first)

  • Added a new option to change the amount of fossil-fuels (coal, gas, oil) extrac­ted in the UK. This option exists in the DECC spread­sheet, but wasn’t pre­vi­ously avail­able in the web interface.
  • Added a whole new sec­tion with per­form­ance against national and inter­na­tional tar­gets. In the top-left corner of every page, you’ll find indic­at­ors show­ing pro­gress against tar­gets. Click on them to read an explan­a­tion of each tar­get, and how well the selec­ted path­way per­forms against each.
  • Change nuc­lear level 1 to phaseout by 2020; bumped all the other levels up by one (so old level 1 is new level 2; old level 3 is new level 4), and updated all the “expert” path­ways accord­ingly. Old level 4 wasn’t plaus­ible, wasn’t used in any of the “expert” path­ways, and so has been removed
  • Added estim­ated dam­age costs for greeen­house gases: low £70/tCO2e; medium £100/tCO2e; high £200/tCO2e
  • Added estim­ates of nuc­lear liab­il­ity costs: low 0p/kWh; medium 11p/kWh; high 100p/kWh
  • The choice of car and van techo­logy, between fuel cells and elec­tric bat­ter­ies, is a cat­egory scale (A,B,C,D), not ascend­ing order of dif­fi­culty (1–4)
  • Ensure coal capa­city has a floor of zero
  • Select­ing bio­mass plant will not drive up coal use
  • Updated nuc­lear build costs: high £4.548/Wp rising to £5.072/Wp; medium £3.50/Wp; low £2.478/Wp
  • Onshore wind, level 4 upgraded to hit 50GWp by 2020 and stay steady
  • Off­shore wind fixed-foundation, level 4, from 2020 onwards, upgraded to 10GWp annual install­a­tion rate


1 Comment on 2050 Calculator

  1. jens Stubbe says:

    Both solar, wind and wave is thun­der­ing down in price.

    Mckin­sey reckon solar will drop 70% in the next few years to 2020.

    Wind and wave is not drop­ping price wise to the same extent but a com­bin­a­tion between lower pro­duc­tion prices and bet­ter capa­city factors off shore will bring both wind and wave below grid par­ity for fossil and nuclear.

    Moreover both geo­thermal and tidal is also becom­ing attract­ive options in UK.

    Basic­ally by 2050 you will only use fossil for older engines and even those engines will to a large extent be driven by syn­thetic fuels.

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