In the energy world 2050 is a magic year by which all of UK emissions will have been reduced to 80% less than in 1990, many of us will have electric cars and most of our electricity will be from low carbon sources. Or at least in an ideal world.
There are a range of scenarios of what the energy landscape in the UK will look like by 2050 and these scenarios look at achieving the required energy reductions using a variety of energy generation technologies. If you want a good easily digestible introduction to this I suggest you read Sustainable Energy Without Hot Air, it ends with some suggested scenarios.
Predicting the future is a tricky business and not one I would relish. To achieve this ‘ideal’ scenario I think we’ll need a range if solutions. Backing a range of technologies I feel will give us a resilient and secure supply with reduced emissions.
While 2050 is a while away, it is in my life time. I will be 64 in 2050 and I want my career to go some way to contributing positively to a low carbon future. You can create your own future energy scenario here on the DECC website and I thought I’d share my scenario with you (view it online here).
What the calculator makes clear is no matter how much technology we throw at this issue we will need to change our behaviour. In the energy world this is referred to as demand side reductions but the way we use technologies (both new and existing systems) heavily influence the UK’s emissions.
Achieving these reductions however require people to be engaged and able to use the technologies. This presents a huge opportunity for designers to get involved and shape technologies as they develop. So what are you waiting for, have a play with the scale of the challenge and get your thinking caps on as to how we can improve things. I know is designers love a challenge and this is a huge one.