The iterative contribution and relevance of modelling to UK energy policy
This paper discusses the iterative provision of modelling insights on long-term decarbonisation scenarios for UK energy policy makers. A multi-year model construction process of the UK MARKAL-Macro-hybrid energy-economic model, and four subsequent major policy analyses illustrates the scope of this interaction. The initial set of modelling runs focused on the technical feasibility of long-term 60% carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction scenarios, the role of key technologies, and the underlying uncertainties. Furthermore subsequent modelling studies were aimed to generate insights on more stringent targets, and on issues and uncertainties that may make targets harder to achieve. Hence, this paper analyses the large number of long-term UK CO2 reduction scenarios through a clustering approach on target stringency and barriers to implementation. Robust findings and key uncertainties are highlighted, including the critical role of the power sector, trade-offs between resources, sectors, key energy technologies and behavioural responses, and the increasing level and spread of CO2 marginal prices and GDP impacts. The relevance and use of modelling insights to the UK energy policy process is shown in the continuation of the energy modelling-policy interface. This constitutes both ongoing model development, and nuanced scenario analysis designed to further explore key uncertainties in evolving policy issues.
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