The UK energy system in 2050: Comparing Low-Carbon, Resilient Scenarios

04 Feb 2013

Phase 1 of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) facilitated the development of a state-of-the-art MARKAL model of the UK energy system. MARKAL is a well established linear optimisation, energy system model, developed by the Energy Technology Systems Analysis Programme (ETSAP) of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in the 1970s, and was until very recently used by it for its annual Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) reports. It is also used by many other research teams round the world, and has been regularly updated and improved over the years through the ETSAP Implementing Agreement.

Towards the end of UKERC’s Phase 1, in 2007-8, UK MARKAL was used for a major modelling exercise of different projections of the UK energy system to 2050, the results of which were published in Skea at al 2011. In the ensuing years, UK MARKAL was again used for major 2050-focused modelling projects: for the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in 2010 (CCC 2010), for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in 2011 (HMG 2011), and again for UKERC to update the Energy 2050 scenarios in 2012. This UKERC Research Report presents the main results of each of these modelling exercises, with a view to drawing out any key messages from the set as a whole.