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

Suggested improvements

Bugs and errors spotted in the excel spreadsheet and web tool

See: Bug spotter

Suggestions for bug fixing

Suggested improvements to the Calculator

Suggested improvements from Energy Numbers:

Cost ideas

  • VVI.b Electricity grid distribution costs - transmission. Consider separating this into two costs: one for onshore transmission and another for offshore. That's because, according to National Grid, the cost of the latter is much higher (owing to engineering requirements). e.g. See the costs they supplied to our CfE - the 2030 report quoted here:
  • Electrical appliances costs - in the web tool, these look a bit low. Shouldn't they be higher?

Web tool ideas

  • National Grid idea of seeing the number of pylons required under different pathways. See email: D12/758373
  • Add other metrics or constraints around acheiving other UK targets (e.g. 34% reduction by 2020)

Trajectory ideas

  • We could split the renewable heat into domestic small units and CHP/DH. See email explaining: D11/2153207.

Spreadsheet ideas

  • Remove all the gridlines to "minimise the data ink".
  • Make the active cell in each worksheet cell A1 (i.e. top left).
  • Many worksheets have redundant values in cells below the outputs tables (pressing Ctrl+End goes to the last cell with any content, which helps spot this issue)


  • The pathway called "higher CCS, more bioenergy" actually uses a lot less bioenergy than the "higher nuclear, less energy efficiency", though they use about the same percentage of the total primary supply. This struck me as odd.
  • The levers involving bioenergy tend to have the opposite effect than what you'd expect, i.e. that the amount of emissions increases as you build bio power stations. This is because the power stations use fossil fuels at the same time, but that is not properly explained in the web tool, only if you look at the one-pager. This could be changed.

Levels 1-4 issues

  • The "Storage, demand shifting and interconnection" lever's levels are set in an odd way, in that there is not much difference between levels 1-3, and then a huge leap up to level 4 in terms of storage capacity. Coul these be more evenly spaced?

One-pager ideas

  • Copying and pasting text directly from these doesn't work, as they are encoded. Could that be changed? It seems unnecessary and against the calculator's ethos of openness and transparency.

Transport sector areas for improvement

Assumptions data
  • It is often unclear where the “fixed” assumptions are sourced from.
  • The number of bikes for the UK looks too high: the Calculator assumes there will be around 80 million bikes in 2050 under no effort to decarbonise from 2007. This could owe to the number of km per vehicle being too low.
  • A lot of transport costs are taken from MARKAL or “2050 Working Data”. However, the original sources for these costs are unknown.
  • It is not clear whether the costs for buses is for single deckers, double deckers or a weighted average of the two.
  • The costs for EV buses seem too high (the 2050 cost (£205,300) is slightly higher than DfT’s estimate for present day and the 2010 cost of £441,600 is far higher).
  • The Calculator does not have a cost range for electric rail freight.
  • The 2050 Calculator does not include the costs of domestic water-borne freight.
  • The international aviation and shipping costs are based on the incremental costs of action versus level 1 effort. This is a different cost methodology to the rest of the Calculator.
  • Alternative technology HGVs are not included (such as CNG, biomethane or hydrogen).

Improvements to public wiki - wish list

See: http://deccintranet/deccipedia/Pages/Improvements%20to%20public%20wiki%20-%20wish%20list.aspx


Ideas for future work: D12/1154867

From talks and roadshows

Thank you very much for the lecture yesterday evening. I found it both entertaining and informative.

The calculator is a superb communication tool. There are however a few additions / changes that would make it even better. Here are my suggestions:

1. Show cost as a fourth graph or as a separate tab

2. Make the generation options more granular at the low end (e.g. option 2 for nuclear is already quite high and 4 seems unrealistic)

3. Include carbon used in delivering options (e.g. building nuclear power station, batteries in PEVs) or at least provide an indication of impact in the help section (s you did last night, e.g. insulation: negligible)

4. Provide more explanation on imports or implied imports (e.g. reducing manufacturing output will only have a global impact if we reduce consumption of such goods).


Here are my thoughts:

1. Heat options update – ideally switch to an 11-slider interface, so that people can choose to have 75% heat pumps and 25% other things.
2. Show cost versus time as a fourth graph (broken down by categories). I really like this idea. It should be fairly easy? Maybe if screen space is a difficulty, we could have a new tab in which the three energy/emissions graphs are summarised by the 2050 outcome alone, and the security of supply headline numbers (eg backup capacity) is shown as a visual object, and the graph of costs versus time is shown.
3. Transport update
4. Hydrogen-to-gas and hydrogen-to-liquids options (perhaps air fuel synthesis too, though maybe we do not need to show the detail of what sort of gas or liquid; just have an assumed efficiency and cost)