The UK 2050 Calculator Web Flash Excel Wiki
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Help with the electricity page on the 2050 web tool

If you are new to the 2050 Pathways Calculator, you may wish to start by reading the 'help with the all energy page'.

UK electricity demand

The coloured stack represents the demand for electricity from the different sectors of the economy: industry, transport, heating etc in TWh of electricity. This can be used to see the overall growth or decline in demand for electricity, which parts of the economy are big users of electricity and how that changes over time. A more detailed snapshot of where electricity is used in 2050 can be found on the energy flow diagram.

The dotted black line represents the total final energy used in the UK, including electricity, gas, oil, coal and their bioenergy equivalents. Comparing this line to the stacked area may give a sense of the change in proportion of UK final energy that comes from electricity.

UK electricity supply

The coloured stack represents the supply of electricity from the different types of electricity generation: nuclear, wind, conventional fossil fuel etc in TWh of electricity. This can be used to see the overall growth or decline in the supply of electricity, which types of generators are producing electricity and how that changes over time. A more detailed snapshot of where electricity is generated in 2050 can be found on the energy flow diagram.

The dotted black line represents the total final energy used in the UK, including electricity, gas, oil, coal and their bioenergy equivalents. Comparing this line to the stacked area may give a sense of the change in proportion of UK final energy that comes from electricity.

The supply of electricity can be higher than the demand. Excess is assumed to help with the winter peak in electricity demand and otherwise to be exported.

Unabated fossil fuel generation includes the share of electricity from combined heat and power (CHP). Therefore if the pathways have a heating choice that includes CHP then it is possible for unabated fossil fuel generation to remain, even if very large amounts of low carbon generation have been selected.

Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation

The coloured stack represents the greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation classified into fuel combustion (positive emissions) and a share of bioenergy and CCS (which are counted as negative emissions in this model) with the net total presented as a solid black line. It is possible for the solid black line to go below 0, indicating that the net effect of electricity generation is to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. This may be possible when biomass is fed into electricity generation with carbon capture and storage.

The dotted black line represents total UK emissions from all sources, including electricity generation. Comparing this line to the stacked area may give a sense of the change in proportion of UK emissions that arise from electricity generation.

Treatment of emissions from biomass

When biomass is burnt in electricity generation it is assumed to create greenhouse gas emissions and these are counted in the 'fuel combustion' category. An exactly equal and offsetting quantity of negative emissions are then allocated to the 'biomass' category. This assumes that growing biomass sequesters exactly the same quantity of greenhouse gases as are released when the biomass is burnt.

Treatment of emissions from CCS

When fuels are burnt in electricity generation with carbon capture & storage (CCS) then, for accounting purposes in this model, they are assumed to create greenhouse gas emissions which are counted in the 'fuel combustion' category and then a compensating credit of negative emissions are allocated to the 'Carbon Capture' category. The exact credit depends on the assumption about the proportion of emissions that are captured and stored by the CCS power station. This assumption varies over time.

Treatment of CHP and heat off-take from large power stations for district heating

Emissions from the generation of electricity in micro and community CHP are not included in this chart. They are instead included as part of the emissions from heating.

No adjustment is made for the emissions from large power stations where some electricity generation is sacrificed in order to produce heat for district heating. All of the emissions from this kind of heat are counted as part of electricity generation.

The logic for this decision was the principal purpose of CHP is to generate heat, while the principal purpose of large electricity generation is to produce electricity.