International outreach work of the 2050 Calculator

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 (now BEIS) 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. BEIS 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 also worked in collaboration with a number of other organisations to build a Global Calculator, which enables 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 and to access the Global Calculator.

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. Please note - the UK Pathways Calculator is currently being updated, so the simplified My2050 simulation and the My2050 Schools Toolkit have been taken offline.

The ‘2050 Calculator Family’ – Three levels of complexity

An illustration of the 3 types of 2050 model

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

BEIS 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. BEIS 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, BEIS received funding from the International Climate Fund to support 10 developing countries develop their own 2050 Calculators – Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam. All 10 countries have now completed the initial stage of the programme, and have launched finished Calculator models. Many of these are now being used in policy making or to open up the climate and energy debate to new audiences. more information on this programme, can be found on the Development Tracker website, which includes the original business case and annual reviews.

Which other places have published 2050 Calculators?

BEIS 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. Twenty four teams have already published their own versions of the Calculator:

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.

BEIS 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:

For any other questions please contact the 2050 pathways team

Published 14 February 2013
Last updated 18 April 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated with latest country calculator links.
  2. First published.