In Keith’s pathway, 58% of primary energy will be imported and emissions will be 77% below 1990 levels in 2050.
Keith selected Level 4 (maximum) effort in 6 sectors, mainly to reduce demand from transport, households and industry.
The DECC 2050 Calculator illustrates that there are an almost infinite number of possible routes to a Low Carbon Economy. Irrespective of how we analyse the problem we can be sure that achieving an 80% reduction in GHG emissions will be a dramatically interwoven engineering and behavioural challenge. We hope that the pathway put forward by Atkins will begin to describe this new industrial revolution and provoke a lively debate.
Whilst it is impossible to provide a definitive model of what 2050 will look like (we cannot predict the impact of free enterprise, innovation and Government policy), it is very important that we have a desirable and realistic vision of 2050. This will help each of us understand what our role will be and what actions we need to take. As engineers, we recognise that we must use our skills to deliver secure low carbon sources of energy with electricity remaining as the primary delivery choice. This is already leading to the development of new energy infrastructure and we believe this will continue and accelerate. We also believe we will also become more adept at managing the physical resources at our disposal and this in turn will cause a significant re-engineering of the built environment.
We accept that our pathway fell marginally short of an 80% reduction but we are optimistic that current levels of technical innovation indicate that we will achieve the step changes necessary to meet our target (the assumptions made behind the model are essentially based upon known technology). In addition, Government will continue to provide new policy leavers to bring about parallel changes in behaviours.
We began the development of our suggested pathway through the consideration of the technical aspects of demand reduction concurrent with the already emerging change in society’s values, resulting behaviours and expectations. We then moved to the practical consideration of low carbon energy supply.
In support of our pathway we make the following comments.
Energy storage needs a higher profile.