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UK 2050 Energy Plan

The Institution submitted to ‘Future Climate’ its UK national energy plan, which was officially handed over to the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference, COP15, process.  The energy plan is  aimed at helping to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a sustainable level and avoiding dangerous climate change.  Future Climate is the project for international engineering associations which presented technology-based solution strategies  at COP15, in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Read the full report here.

The purpose of the plan is to propose a strategy that facilitates an 80% or greater reduction target in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) for the UK which will contribute to containing the maximum global average temperature rise to within 2oC. To meet this objective, the Institution’s national energy plan proposes that the country’s total primary energy supply should reduce by 48% by 2050, with the remaining supply being transitioned to zero or low carbon technologies, and achieves a 90% reduction in UK GHG emissions relative to 1990 levels.

The report makes key recommendations on how to meet the 48% reduction in primary energy supply, including:

  • Improving vehicle efficiency
  • Significantly reducing (space) heating demand
  • Improving power generation efficiency
  • Reducing energy consumption in industry
  • Encouraging local food production for local people

Desired outcomes from the plan:

  • Major investment to improve the electricity distribution grid, set up local heating networks, and encourage new clean energy sources
  • Training of skilled engineering sector employees for the new economy
  • Public engagement to drive change in food, heating and transport expectations
  • Supporting key programmes of work to enable new technologies
  • Availability of Government incentives and agile policy to meet the continuously changing needs of this complex programme
  • Major business opportunities flowing from the new technologies needed

At the Future Climate conference, 3-4 September 2009, IMechE President, Keith Millard will officially present the Institution's national energy plan for 2050 to the delegates, delivering the recommendations which will become part of the United Nations Climate Conference process.  The lead author of the report, Dr Brian Cox MIMechE will be leading discussions at the conference on 4 September, introducing the UK's model for transportation in a 90% GHD reduction scenario.

The conference is seen as an international forum for engineers from all over the world to exchange their knowledge and proposed approaches to climate change.  More specifically, engineering associations from 12 countries around the world will present their national climate plans and recommendations for a global climate action plan.

For further details about Future Climate.

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