The UK 2050 Calculator Web Flash Excel Wiki
Register or sign in
This is a wiki Anyone can contribute, therefore we don't vouch for its accuracy.

May I copy the tool and adapt it for my country or my purposes

Yes. Please do. See also copying the 2050 calculator and Questions about the licence under which the 2050 calculator is published.

The Excel model is self contained and available here:

The source code for the web front end is available here: and for the old version here:

The source code for this wiki is available here:

The Excel model requires Microsoft Excel, 2007 or later (sadly it doesn't work in Open Office or older versions of Excel, because of its use of structured references).

The web front end requires the open-source Ruby language, and javascript.

specific questions and answers on adapting the tool

General questions

Is it possible to turn a fixed assumption indicator to trajectories?

Yes: you can have any number of trajectory assumptions, within the limits of what is practical. Remember that it will make it harder for the users to understand the model if they have to make lots of choices; we have found that around 40 choices is about right. If you create more trajectories it also requires more stakeholder work to agree the range of change in that trajectory. You can combine multiple trajectory parameters within one lever (for example, occupancy and efficiency in the transport sector) but this becomes more opaque.

Are the sectors connected (e.g. do supply-demand match)?

Generally, all the sectors are independent. The user chooses what happens in each sector, and the Calculator adds up the supply and the demand for energy in the “year” worksheets (for example, worksheet “2007” summarises the supply and demand for energy for 2007). However, If there is a shortfall of supply from domestic fossil fuel production, domestic nuclear, biofuels and renewables production, electricity imports and bioenergy imports, the Calculator “imports” gas to meet the excess demand. The other interactions are:

If you wish to develop a Calculator for another country, it is worth considering what it is reasonable to assume for your default fossil fuel (i.e. would it be gas like for the UK?) Electricity

Regarding the electricity production mix, where is it possible to feed into the modeling the natural gas and coal based capacities (and their trajectories)?

There is no assumed limit on the imports of gas or our capacity for gas-based generation in the UK. For coal, the model uses the current coal power and decommissions this over time. To incorporate a cap or trajectories on gas or coal capacities, amend sector “1.a”.

How is the total electricity demand calculated? How is the supply-demand matched (are there enough capacities)? The difference then could be compensated with the export-import balance.

The user chooses how much electricity is demanded by selecting the effort to decarbonise in the demand levers. The Calculator then sums the electricity demand across the demand sectors. The Calculator meets this demand with supply (see answer to question 2).

Regarding the electricity import-export balance why only the CSP import is taken into account? The fact that it is from CSP has any consequences on emission or not? In this latter case could we use it for any kind of electricity import? (plus please refer to questions 1-2) (VII. a sheet).

We assumed that electricity imports would come from concentrated solar power, as this seems to be a reasonable assumption for the UK. We do not include the emissions from this sector as the emissions occur outside the UK. You can use this sector for any type of electricity import – but make sure you reflect what is possible (i.e. would the exporting country need it for themselves?).

In case of electricity storage what do you mean by peak power? The capacity of storage facilities (pumped hydro, batteries…etc.) or the possible peak power of peak power plants (natural gas based, below 1500 hours/a function)? (VII. c sheet) |

The capacity of facilities

What is the connection between sheets I b. and XIV. a regarding CCS? Is it not over determined? Once we know the capacities supplied with CCS and their parameters the captured CO2 can be calculated. Why is sheet XIV a necessary?

I.b is CCS on power stations. XIV.a is stand alone geosequestration (for an explanation of the technologies, see page 237 of:

How does the fossil fuel production (NOT use) affect emissions? (sheet XV b)

Fossil fuel production affects emissions in two ways: (1) from mining (fugitive emissions), and; (2) the energy required in the production process.

Would it be possible to apply trajectories to electricity network losses? Since in the modeling network losses are as fixed indicators.

Yes, if you think this is necessary. This would be simple to model if you can agree trajectories with stakeholders. This would be included in sheet V11.b.

Agriculture & waste

The agricultural practices, such as N fertilizer use, have large impact on emission. How is the N fertilizer use taken into account? (If it is the soil management practice what does the annual change mean (%pa): what is changing at that rate?)

We capture the total emissions per km2 of land farmed in the “soil management” assumptions in sheet VI.a. We do not look at choices on specific fertilizer The change in emissions from soil management reflects changes in through continued improvement in nutrient management practices on farms (declines are limited by an increase in bioenergy crop land in the scenarios where this occurs).

With considering the forest area – is it only because of bioenergy uses or also adding the total CO2 adsorption capacity of plants?

We include the CO2 sequestered by forests. The model covers all emissions and should reflect aggregate net emissions data.

Regarding land use change how the different uses (1st gen, 2nd gen..etc.) of grasslands and arable lands affect emissions? (VI. a sheet)

Farming and biofuels production require energy and this has associated emissions. Crop land and grassland have different emissions factors but emissions are not differentiated by crop type.

At waste management what does the abbreviation CDW stand for? (VI. b sheet)

Construction and demolition waste


How does the modeling take into account the different housing types (block house, family house, public buildings…etc.) in the building stock? They can differ very much in respective parameters and insulation.

We have estimated the thermal leakiness of our housing based on a separate analysis of the housing stock of the UK (which takes into account the level of existing insulation, the building materials, building shape and size and so on).

On sheets IX. a and c what is the meaning of the technology codes (in rows 75 and 93) and the percent in the columns? It seems like the codes do not follow any logic.

The codes correspond to a lookup value to select a combination of electrification and non-electrification energy source (in the table at rows 15 -21).

The spread of district heating could decrease heat related emission considerably. How is the ratio of DHC supplied buildings taken into account? How is the fuel (gas, coal, RES) for DHC generation taken into account?

The ratio of DHC supplied buildings considers what is physically possible within the UK. District heating has no emissions in the heating sector as the emissions are counted in the power generation sheets, depending on the type of fuel combusted.

Is the cooling demand (TWh) reflected in the electricity generation mix (summer peak load)? (Sheet IX a)

There are user trajectories for the cooling technology which affects the energy demand in the heat sector. This demand affects the energy supply and so it can affect the generation mix (see answer to question 2)


Could you please indicate which industries belong to certain categories (chemicals, minerals, metals)? Is the refinery factor included in one of them? Why there is a distinct sheet for refineries (XV a.)?

  • Chemicals and petrochemicals (excluding refineries): this sector includes the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, paints, plastics and fertilisers. It consumes high levels of energy and also uses oil and gas fractions, such as naphtha, as raw materials.
  • Metals: this sector includes iron, steel and aluminium production. In the 2050 Calculator, it also includes coke manufacture and blast furnaces, which are associated with the metals industry. The metals sector produces emissions from fuel combustion and energy use, and industrial processes. Proportionally, the aluminium industry is more energy intensive and the steel industry produces relatively higher levels of process emissions.
  • Minerals: emissions within this sector are dominated by the cement industry, which produces a high proportion of process emissions within the industry sector industry. Limestone and dolomite production also generate process emissions. The sector takes up only a small share of overall output, however.
  • Wider industry includes the production of food and drink, paper, textiles, construction, vehicles and a wide range of other products.

Refineries are counted separately because the activity in the oil refinery sector depends on the amount of indigenous production of oil, as specified by the user.

Is the industry emissions (and energy use) matched with the actual electricity generation mix? (on sheet XI. a. the electricity need of the industry is used as input – what is the fuel mix behind this electricity need?)

See question 2.

Is it possible to use baseline year other than 2007? (sheet XI. a and other sheets also)

Yes, you can start from any base year. We used 2007 since it was the most recent data point at the time of development.

Why is the growth in energy demand multiplier indicator missing between 2025-2050? (sheet XI. a)

The energy demand multipliers are annual multiplier for the years 2007 – 2050 (whereas the output index has a growth rate for 2007- 2025 and then 2025 to 2050)


Regarding aviation how are the international flights taken into account? What ratio of an arrival or departure flight is considered as local emission? (XII. c sheet)

For the purpose of this 2050 analysis, international aviation emissions have been assigned to the UK on the basis of all flights departing from the UK

In case of international shipping could we use the sheet XII. e to model emissions from cross-border waterways (rivers) (Hungary does not have sea shore but there is international shipping on Danube river through or into Hungary)

Yes, if you can agree a method on how to apportion emissions and have data to estimate travel demand

The petrol and diesel demand is determined on transport sheets. Why is it necessary to deliver the oil product demand on sheet XV a? Is the demand for refinery products not matched with the transport energy demand in the model?

Refinery demand is determined by the indigenous production of oil. This is a choice for the user. If there is excess demand for oil above this indigenous production (for example, from high transport demand) then the Calculator will “import” the oil.

Where are the emissions from H2 and electricity based transport allocated? (at transport or at electricity/H2 production)?

The emissions from the H2 production are captured in sheet VIII.a. The emissions from electricity for transport are in each of the respective sector worksheets for the technologies that produce electricity. The transports sector sheets capture the combustion emissions associated with vehicles that have internal combustion engines.

On XII. b sheet the equations seems like a little confused. Could you please explain the equations from row 32-43 (we do not see the connection between fuel use and distance) and rows 72-75? However, in our views the efficiencies (row 61 & 69) as defined on the sheet, could be delivered simply as the ratio of fuel use and distance – this equation is not provided, isn’t?

The equations in rows 32-43 do as follows:

  • For 2007, the Calculator takes the total vehicle km travelled by rail and allocates a proportion to diesel rail. * For post 2007, the Calculator applies the growth rate in the diesel fuel use for each period to the distance travelled in the preceding period. This implies that there is a fixed efficiency over time. |

The equations in rows 72-75 assume that the same rate of efficiency gain will occur in electric HGVs as in diesel HGVs. However the data source for the relative efficiencies in 2007 come from an unknown source. This raises an important issue; developers of country Calculators are advised to take care to document assumptions to ensure longevity and credibility of the tool. The equation on fuel use to distance (efficiency) is given in the Calculator. It is fuel use (amount of diesel multiplied by is energy content) divided by distance (e.g. at row 45).

Please note that a detailed overview of the transport sector in the Excel workbook is available in the public wiki here:

Is the electricity need of transport matched with the electricity generation supply? Is the emission from EVs reflected by the electricity fuel mix?

See answer to question 2. The emissions from electricity for transport are in each of the respective sector worksheets for the technologies that produce electricity. The transport sector sheets capture the combustion emissions associated with vehicles that have internal combustion engines.