How can the UK afford an energy system? Mike Colechin

mike semMike presented to our largest audience yet, with more watching the live stream online. He took on big questions about the future of the UK energy system, focused in particular on questions of affordability and the need to reconcile these somehow with both sustainability and energy security (the energy policy ‘trilemma’).  He stressed the uncertainties that permeated future strategies, but the need for decisions to be taken at key points in time as progress is gradually made towards carbon objectives.  The energy system will look very different in 2050 if the 80% carbon reduction objective is followed, and some transitions scenarios will be significantly more costly than others. However questions of future energy demand he acknowledged are underdeveloped and underspecified in the future ‘system design’ modelling work undertake at ETI, with government assumptions about how demand will grow included in a straightforward manner with no attempt (as yet) to do more than this.

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