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Do we really need to increase electricity generation from todays levels to hit the 2050 target

From the 2050 pathway analysis to date, there is a clear trend that most pathways involve a large increase in electricity generation: 13 of the 17 involve an increase of more than 20% on 2007 production, and half of the pathways more than double. The consequences of not electrifying sectors and therefore not increasing electricity generation would be large requirements for bioenergy and heroic levels of behaviour change to reduce per capita energy consumption.

Therefore, although it is physically possible to reduce electricity generation and reach our 2050 target, it involves a large amount of heroic effort elsewhere on demand and bioenergy that many stakeholders consider unrealistic. An increase in electricity generation has been one common message of the pathways analysis to date, and indeed work from the CCC and economic models, such as MARKAL, indicate a similar trend. As the department works towards producing a narrower set of plausible pathways, then we could begin answer with more certainty, but until then it remains true to say that the 2050 work indicates a need for an increase in electricity generation in the majority of pathways presented, with many pathways more than doubling current generation demand.

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