2050 Pathways Analysis Call for Evidence

Closed 5 Oct 2010

Opened 27 Jul 2010

Feedback Updated 17 Jun 2017

We Asked

In July 2010 the Department of Energy and Climate Change and other Government departments published the 2050 Pathways Analysis, Calculator and Web tool as a Call for Evidence, with an invitation to submit comments on specific questions.

You Said

116 stakeholder responses were received from both individuals and organisations, and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond on the analysis, the data, and the pathways.

We Did

We have made changes to the Calculator in response to stakeholder evidence and your responses, as well as presenting a new range of illustrative pathways to 2050.

Results Updated 17 Jun 2017

 

In July 2010 the Department of Energy and Climate Change and other Government departments published the 2050 Pathways Analysis, Calculator and Web tool as a Call for Evidence, with an invitation to submit comments on specific questions. This Call for Evidence is now closed and Government would like to thank respondents for their contributions.

116 stakeholder responses were received from both individuals and organisations, and in March 2011 the Government published the next phase of the 2050 Pathways Analysis.

The response documents below explain the changes we have made to the Calculator in response to stakeholder evidence, as well as presenting a new range of illustrative pathways to 2050.

Files:

Links:

Overview

This consultation was carried out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. In July 2016, the department merged with the Department for Business and Innovation and Skills to form the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

This is a Call for Evidence and not a formal Consultation.

We need a transformation of the UK economy to ensure secure low carbon energy supplies to 2050. We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by at least 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. We face major choices about how to move to a secure, low carbon economy over this period. Should we do more to cut demand, or rely more on increasing and decarbonising the energy supply? How will we produce our electricity? Which technologies will we adopt? The Department of Energy and Climate Change and other Government departments have been working hard with stakeholders to work out what this means for the country, for the energy sector and other major emitting sectors, and for individuals.

The analysis in the 2050 Pathways work presents a framework through which to consider some of the choices and trade-offs which we will have to make over the next forty years. It is system-wide, covering all parts of the economy and all greenhouse gas emissions released in the UK. It shows that it is possible for us to meet the 80% emissions reduction target in a range of ways, and allows people to explore the combinations of effort which meet the emissions target while matching energy supply and demand.

The 2050 work comprises several products, which can all be accessed from the DECC 2050 Pathways Analysis webpage.

The 2050 Pathways Analysis report explains the assumptions and approach used in the 2050 work, including the trajectories for each sector of the economy and some of the implications. The report also describes six different illustrative pathways to show various successful routes to 2050, as well as a high-carbon reference case. Other versions of this document in Braille, other languages or audio-cassette can be made available on request. This includes a Welsh version.

The 2050 Pathways Calculator tool is a simple user-friendly model allowing users to explore different combinations of levels of change across the sectors to create pathways which successfully achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, while ensuring that energy supply meets demand. For each sector of the economy it offers up to four trajectories ranging from little or no effort to reduce emissions and save energy (‘level 1’) to extremely ambitious changes that push towards the physical or technical limits of what can be achieved (‘level 4’). This model does not display the underlying calculations and assumptions.

The 2050 Pathways Calculator Excel model is a more complex model which allows users to create alternative pathways to 2050 as above, and also displays the supporting calculations and assumptions. Please note the Excel model is only available in 2007 format. If you are unable to open the file, you may download a more recent version of Excel. You may need to maximise your Excel view to see this spreadsheet in full. For further details of the assumptions and to create pathways, see the products above.

The role of DECC and Government

The UK has major choices about how to move to a secure, low-carbon energy system over the period to 2050. This 2050 Pathways work is the first version of a framework which will help policymakers as well as the energy industry and the public understand these choices. This work is not about choosing a pathway to 2050 today — such a task would not be feasible given the major unknowns and timeframe involved. However, this work enables us to better manage some significant long-term uncertainties and helps us to avoid making long-term decisions that are incompatible with meeting our 2050 emissions target. 

Why We Are Consulting

The route to 2050 will not be easy: we know that very substantial changes will be required across a wide range of sectors and across many aspects of our lives, even though we do not yet know the precise detail of these changes. Creating a low carbon economy will require the consent and participation of citizens.

The publication of this Call for Evidence and the launch of the online 2050 Pathways Calculator allows the public to engage in the debate on how we achieve our goals and ensure that our efforts add up to what is required.

We have a ten-week call for evidence period and the link to the online template for responses can be found below.

What Happens Next

The Department intends to use the responses to help refine the analysis underpinning the 2050 Pathways Calculator. An updated version of the Calculator will be made available in autumn 2010. This will help inform discussions of the long term decisions faced by the UK. The analysis will also be one source of evidence used by the Government in determining the UK’s fourth carbon budget, for the period 2023–2027.

Audiences

  • Wind
  • Nuclear
  • Coal
  • Wave and tidal
  • Construction
  • Investment
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Universities
  • General public
  • Older people
  • Younger people
  • Disability groups
  • The Devolved Administrations
  • Charities and Third Sector organisations
  • Non-Government Organisations

Interests

  • Energy and climate change