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What makes a great split of sectors in a 2050 calculator

This is part of a series of "what makes a great.." notes to help people who are interested in copying the 2050 calculator. They are ideals, which the UK calculator may not live up to.

The first step in developing the 2050 calculator is to divide up all the potential sources (e.g., nuclear power) and uses of energy (e.g., domestic heating) and sources of emissions (e.g., land use change) into sectors. Each sector then gets one (or occasionally two or three) choices (e.g., about how much nuclear power to deploy).

A great split of sectors:

  1. Has the bare minimum number of sectors, so that it is quick to use the tool.
  2. Has all the sectors that people expect, even if they are small (e.g., if most people think that rooftop wind turbines are a significant potential energy source then it should be included, even if people are factually incorrect in that belief)
  3. Minimises the interaction between sectors, by treating linked technologies together (e.g., heating and insulation).

See also:

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