University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

  • Mark Winskel
  • G Anandarajah
  • Chiara Candelise
  • D Clarke
  • G Dutton
  • S Jablonski
  • H Jeffrey
  • Christos Kalyvas
  • P Howarth
  • B Moran
  • Nils Markusson
  • D Ward
View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes
Duration: 10 Mar 200912 Mar 2009
Conference number: 192012


Internet address


Examining the Prospects for Accelerated Development of Renewable Energy Technologies – and its impact
on Energy System Decarbonisation The UK Energy Research Centre was established in 2004, with the aim
of being the UK's pre-eminent centre of research, and source of authoritative information and leadership, on
sustainable energy systems. UKERC takes an integrated, whole systems approach to energy research. The
Centre incorporates a unique set of interdisciplinary skills covering economics, engineering and the
physical, environmental and social sciences. UKERC is currently engaged in a major cross-disciplinary
research project, Energy 2050, which is examining the means by which the UK can move towards a lowcarbon
energy system over the next forty years, and the various uncertainties and choices facing UK energy
policymakers. As part of Energy 2050, UKERC’s Energy Supply Working Group has examined the
prospects for accelerated technological development of a range of renewable and other low carbon energy
supplies, and the implications of this for the UK energy system. This Group combines together UKERC
research expertise in supply technology, energy systems and policy and innovation studies. A series of
scenarios have been developed to represent the international prospects for accelerated technological
development of low carbon technologies. Then, using the Markal energy systems model, the impact of this
acceleration on the decarbonisation of UK energy system has been examined. The results indicate that there
are significant prospects for accelerated development for a range of renewable technologies, including
windpower, marine, solar PV and bioenergy, and that this acceleration has potential to make substantial
impact on the make-up of the UK energy system as it decarbonises from now to 2050. The pace of
acceleration differs across the technology mix, and there are distinctive impacts at different times over the
period to 2050. The presentation will include an outline of the background to the work, a description of the
scenarios for accelerated development, a presentation of the Markal modelling results, and a discussion of
the implications of this work for technology developers, energy system planners and policymakers. Overall,
it is found that there are significant prospects for accelerated development of a range of renewable energy
technologies, and that this acceleration can offer substantial benefit in terms of helping achieve overall
policy goals for decarbonised energy systems, especially in the post-2020 period. Achieving this
acceleration – and securing its benefits – will require a combination of technology development and
deployment policies at international and national levels from now to 2050. Given the technical, economic
and environmental risks and uncertainties associated with emerging technologies, international efforts to
capture accelerated development opportunities – and domestic measures to exploit the impact of these
efforts – are valuable, and perhaps critical.

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