International outreach work of the 2050 Calculator
- Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
- Part of:
- Energy security
- First published:
- 14 February 2013
The 2050 Calculator approach is being adapted and developed further by teams outside of the UK
2050 Calculator Overview
To support the UK 2050 Pathways Analysis DECC developed a 2050 Energy and Emissions Calculator model. The Calculator is a tool that helps strengthen the level of debate on energy issues in the UK. DECC is now supporting teams around the world to develop their own calculators to explore their options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help tackle climate change. DECC and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Climate Change Attaché Network won the 2013 Civil Service Award for Analysis and Use of Evidence for this international work.
DECC is also working in collaboration with a number of other organisations to build a Global Calculator, which will enable users to explore the options for reducing global emissions, and the impact of climate change associated with them. Please see the Global Calculator website for more information on the project.
If you have any questions or are interested in developing a new version of the Calculator, please contact the 2050 pathways team.
What is the 2050 Calculator?
The Calculator is an open source energy and emissions model. It allows the user to explore all high-level energy and emission pathway options the country, territory or region faces. For each possible 2050 pathways the user can further investigate impacts on land-use, electricity, energy security, energy flows, costs etc.
The UK 2050 Calculator exists in three formats:
- The 2050 Excel Spreadsheet: A detailed spreadsheet outlining all the underlying data and functionality of the 2050 Calculator.
- The 2050 Webtool : Internet based scenarios model using the same data as the excel spreadsheet. User is able to get instant results showing information on energy output, demand and emissions out to 2050. It enables quick comparison of the consequences and trade-offs of different scenarios.
- My2050 : Visual internet simulation that helps young people to imagine how the energy system may evolve, and the secondary impact this may have. Users can make decisions about levels of effort in 14 simplified sectors, to make decisions about their own version of how their economy will meet the energy and emissions challenge by 2050.
The ‘2050 Calculator Family’ – Three levels of complexity
What are the advantages of the 2050 Calculator approach?
The 2050 Calculator can outline, in minutes, months of work from technical experts. It allows you to answer the fundamental questions of how your energy system can evolve over the coming decades and its impact on emissions, energy security, land-use, electricity systems, energy development, costs etc. With three different levels of detail it can be used to engage technicians, policy makers and the general public with their energy and emissions choices. It promotes an ‘energy literate’ debate and brings your energy and emissions data alive.
2050 Calculator international outreach
DECC strongly supports other countries or regions that want to use the 2050 Calculator methodology to explore their future energy choices, and is keen for this to have the same transformational impact as it has done in the UK. DECC also wants to learn from the modeling approaches of other experts to improve the 2050 methodology.
All three versions of the UK 2050 Calculator are open source, and some training material is available below. If you have any questions or are interested in developing a new version of the Calculator, please contact the 2050 pathways team.
In order to promote international engagement, DECC has successfully bid for up to £1.5 million of funding from the UK’s International Climate Fund to support work on a 2050 Calculator in 10 developing countries until 2014. The UK Government set up the International Climate Fund to help developing countries tackle climate change and reduce poverty.
Which other places have published 2050 Calculators?
DECC is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), UK Embassies and the Department for International Development (DFID) to engage with experts from around the world. Seven teams have already published their own versions of the Calculator:
- Belgium: In 2011 the Belgium regional Government of Wallonia and the consultancy CLIMACT launched the Wallonia 2050 Pathways analysis.
- China: In 2012, the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of the People’s Republic of China published its China 2050 Calculator, English language version and China 2050 Calculator, Chinese language version.
- South Korea: In 2013, the South Korean University of Sejong published a South Korean 2050 Calculator as an excel spreadsheet, a web tool, and as a My2050 simulation.
- Taiwan: In 2013, the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Industrial Technology Research Institute published their calculator as an Excel spreadsheet, webtool and as a My2050 simulation. You can also read a blog post about the launch of the Calculator.
- India: In 2014, the Indian Government’s Planning Commission launched India Energy Security Scenarios 2047, including a web tool and full spreadsheet.
- South Africa: In 2014, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs launched the South Africa 2050 Calculator webtool.
- Japan: In 2014, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and the National Institute for Environmental Studies launched the Japan 2050 Low Carbon Navigator, English version and Japanese version.
There are 11 other countries currently looking to develop Calculators:
- Serbia and South East Europe
International 2050 Pathways Conference 2012
On 18-21 September 2012, China and the UK hosted the International Conference on 2050 Pathways in Beijing aimed at understanding how best to tackle climate change and ensure energy security. The conference showcased the first public launch of the Chinese 2050 Calculator and encouraged more governments to get involved.
How to build a 2050 Calculator
Each 2050 Calculator has its unique challenges and opportunities. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to adapting the 2050 Calculator to another country or region does not exist. Each team should own their respective versions of the 2050 Calculator and advance the analysis.
DECC and other colleagues have developed information about how and why they adopted the 2050 Calculator methodology. Any new 2050 Calculator project can learn from these experiences and add to the debate.
In order to assist in this process of developing a 2050 Calculator, the following documents and links can be of assistance:
The software for all three formats of the UK 2050 Calculator is open source. When starting a 2050 Calculator analysis, DECC recommends developing and adapting the 2050 excel spreadsheet. Here are some ideas on how to do this:
Published: 14 February 2013
Part of: Energy security
Related guides: 2050 Pathways