Buckfastleigh Transition Town – for a sustainable future for Buckfastleigh, Devon
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  • 2050 Web Tool

    Posted on June 30th, 2011 Steve No comments
    The 2050 Web tool is a user-friendly model that lets you create your own UK emissions reduction pathway, and see the impact using real UK data. Within the tool you can see example pathways that show different ways of reaching the 2050 target, while keeping the lights on.
    The 2050 Web Tool

    The 2050 Web Tool

    The tool presents you with three charts, describing the demand for energy, the supply of energy and the greenhouse gas emissions for the UK. Below the charts are a list of sectors. For each sector of the economy, four trajectories have been developed, ranging from little or no effort to reduce emissions (level 1) to extremely ambitious changes that push towards the physical or technical limits of what can be achieved (level 4). These are indicated by four numbered boxes.

    If you click on a number, then that trajectory is selected and the charts recalculate – this calculation may take up to 30 seconds. If you move your mouse over the levels, a box will appear describing what that choice represents. You can find out more about each sector and what the changes would mean in practice by clicking the question mark icons next to each sector – these will display a short summary introducing the sector and explaining the levels and choices available.

    Where there are letters (A, B, C, D) instead of numbers this shows that trajectories within this sector represent different scenarios, rather than levels of effort. For example, we could derive energy from a biomass (a lump of wood) in different ways – we could leave it as a solid fuel, or turn it into a liquid or a gas.

    2050 Web Tool Energy Flows

    The tool can also show you the energy flows from supply to demand

    Create Your Pathway


    On the demand side, you can make choices about the amount of energy the UK uses. For example, you can choose how far to insulate our houses, how much more efficient to make our lighting and appliances, or choose how we travel and in what kind of vehicles.


    On the supply side you can choose how the UK produces its energy. For example, you can choose to build up to 40,000 offshore wind turbines or up to 50 3GW nuclear power stations, you can allocate up to 20% of the UK’s land to growing bio crops and you can reduce our use of landfill sites.

    Outputs From Your Pathway


    The emissions chart on the right-hand side of the screen shows the emissions from your pathway to 2050 and allows you to check whether it meets the 2050 target by cutting UK emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels.

    Energy Security

    Part of choosing a pathway is evaluating how well it could cope with real-life weather events and demand patterns. To test this, the 2050 Web tool simulates a cold, windless week. This means significant increases in the amount of energy demanded for heating, whilst reducing the energy supplied by some renewables, including wind turbines and solar panels. The 2050 Web tool will show how much back-up generation your pathway requires, and you can choose what level of effort put into storing energy, shifting demand and using interconnection to help meet the challenge.

    Share Your Pathway

    Once you are happy with your energy pathway, you can share it with others by clicking on the “Save or share this pathway” button. This will show you a unique URL for your pathway that you can bookmark and send to your friends for discussion. For example, here is one possible energy pathway.

    Back to Our Energy Future