Green Economy
International Conference

ITRI, UK DECC and IGES co-organise the International Conference on 2050 Calculator in Taipei

A three-day international conference on the 2050 Calculator—an open model for analysing energy and emissions—was held in Taiwan from 10 to 12 February 2015.

Originally developed by UK DECC, the 2050 Calculator soon received growing acceptance and a number of other countries have either developed or are in the process of developing their own version of the Calculators. In addition, a Global 2050 Calculator has recently been launched, and several subnational level ones are at various stages of development. The conference aimed at gathering the 2050 Calculator methodology experts from around the world to strengthen a global community of 2050 teams. It provided a venue for showcasing the works and experiences and networking among the 2050 Calculator teams. A total of 19 teams attended the conference.

Representatives from IGES and the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), the two institutes that developed the Japan 2050 Low Carbon Navigator, (Japanese version of the 2050 Calculator) attended the conference from Japan.

Date 10 – 12 February 2015
Venue The Taipei International Convention Center, Taiwan
Organisers The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) of Taiwan
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) of the United Kingdom
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategy(IGES)
Supporter The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) of Taiwan
Photos » from here
Related Links » from here
Meeting Summary

The opening session was graced by the presence of Premier H.E. Dr. Mao Chi-kuo of Taiwan. In his speech, Premier Mao underscored the significance of a tool such as the 2050 Calculator to objectively assess the relationship between different choices and their consequences. ITRI Senior Advisor Dr. Jhi-hang Yang, IGES Senior Research Advisor Dr. Shuzo Nishioka, and the Director of the British Trade and Cultural Office Mr. Chris Wood also provided opening remarks, with all of them emphasizing on the importance of the 2050 Calculator a tool for engaging dialogues and stimulating public debates.

The keynote speech on the ups and downs of the 2050 Calculator was provided by Cambridge University Professor and former Chief Scientific Advisor of DECC Professor David Mackay. Professor Mackay explained the problems and prospects of a sustainable future, how to improve the situation, and then informed the audience about the origin of the first Calculator and how it evolved to see the development of a number of national Calculators from different countries as well as the launching of the Global Calculator.

The subsequent sessions of the conference focused on country experiences in developing the 2050 Calculator, best practices, sector examples and the way forward for further strengthening the 2050 modellers’ community. Dr. Xin Zhou, Leader of IGES Green Economy Area made a presentation on the key messages from the Japan 2050 Low Carbon Navigator. Dr. Zhou provided background on Japan’s energy situation and climate policy, explained how the tool was developed including information on model framework and data and scenarios setting, identified the major differences with the UK version of the tool, explained the application and outreach activities, and described the major results derived from the tool and challenges for further improving the tool. Dr. Shuichi Ashina of NIES explained the innovative approaches of the Japanese tool in modelling the unique nuclear energy situation in Japan. Dr. Ashina also informed the global community about yet another novel feature of the Japan 2050 Low Carbon Navigator: GDP, population and the intensity of economic activities have been incorporated in the model through a set of five so-called “Society Scenarios”. 2050 teams from other countries appreciated this approach and it is likely that similar techniques may be incorporated in the updated version of other Calculators.

Features of Selected Countries

Several other country calculators have some interesting features and focuses. Some of these features of the calculators from selected countries are briefly discussed below:

  • Taiwan  
    The Taiwan 2050 Calculator, while built on the 2050 Calculator, has additional modules on reserve margin capacity (peak load), electricity price, energy/emission intensities, land use impact, energy transition marginal cost and ‘development difficulty index’ in alternative energy futures. The project was led by the Green Energy and Environment Research Laboratories (GEL) within the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) of Taiwan with strong support from the central government, especially Bureau of Energy, Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs.

  • China  
    China has developed both a national and two regional Calculators. The national one, developed by the Energy Research Institute (ERI) of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), focuses on energy and economic development. Major characteristics compared with the UK 2050 Calculator include: i) industrial sector is divided into high energy intensive, new and other sectors to reflect industrial structural change; ii) transport sector is divided into intra-city, domestic, international and freight transportation sub sectors to reflect the impacts from transport within the city; and iii) household is divided into urban and rural household to reflect the major differences in energy consumption (both level and structure) between urban and rural people. Regional 2050 Calculators have also been developed in China, e.g. in Beijing and Inner Mongolia, with Beijing being the major energy consuming mega-city and Inner Mongolia being the potential energy supplying region.

  • India  
    The India 2050 calculator, known as ‘India Energy Security Scenarios’ (IESS47) has been developed by the Planning Commission, Government of India. Six ‘Knowledge partners’ worked on different part of the Navigator and worked together for its implementation – these are TERI, Prayas Energy Group, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, AT & C losses, Centre for Study of Science and Technology and Policy and Central Electricity Authority. It also has strong partnership with Laurence Berkeley National Laboratory and Confederation of Indian Industry etc. during development and in outreach. The calculator simulates energy demand and supply to 2047, the year that marks the 100th year of India’s independence. The tool has both demand and supply side options as in the DECC calculator. However, supply side options are further divided extensively into choices around conventional energy and renewable/clean energy.

  • Vietnam  
    The Vietnam 2050 Calculator shows the country’s energy demand and supply and how they interact with the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. It draws on work led by the Industrial Safety Techniques and Environment Agency of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade with inputs from a group of sector-experts. Its data has been adapted from the UK model by Vietnamese experts to fit the national circumstances of Vietnam. It took around 9 months since the inception of the development work in March 2014 to finalise the Calculator. It was officially launched in Hanoi in January 2015.

  • Thailand  
    Thailand, still at the initial stage of developing the tool, is looking at the Calculator as an active policy-support tool – one of the aims is to investigating how to meet Thailand’s NAMA/INDC target with the navigator. Various existing and relevant policies and plans (including Alternative Energy Development Plan, Energy Efficiency Development Plan) are being used for guiding the level setting in the Calculator. No definite timeline is set for its release.

Along with the national and regional Calculators, a Global 2050 Calculator was also launched in January 2015. It models the world's energy, land and food systems to explore the options for emissions reduction until 2050. In addition, it also allows the users to see the climate consequences of these options until 2100. It works in similar ways as the country Calculators. However, while the country Calculators show options at the country level, the Global tool demonstrates how everything adds up at the global level. A global team, led by UK DECC, developed the Global Calculator.

Future Plans

The Japan 2050 Low Carbon Navigator team is interested in collaborating with other Calculator teams in developing or further improving the tool for other countries both at the national and subnational levels and also in follow-up activities for countries that have already developed the Calculator. Taking the opportunity of the conference, some initial communications have already been made with several other teams. For example, a joint policy workshop is planned with the Bangladesh team to promote the Bangladesh 2050 Calculator and to involve local stakeholders in further developing the tool in the future. Additionally, the Japan team is interested in translating the Global 2050 Calculator into the Japanese language.

Following the success of the conference, it is expected that similar conferences will continue to take place under the guidance of UK DECC and with support from IGES as well as other institutes from around the world. To this end, a community of 2050 Calculator modellers has been formed to share technical knowledge and skills, practical experience and enthusiasm. The 2050 Calculator Community website ( has been launched, which is expected to keep the momentum on for the future of the 2050 Calculator.

National 2050 Calculators
Country URL Launched Year
China 2012
Belgium 2015
Bangladesh 2015
India 2014
Japan 2014
South Africa 2014
South Korea 2013
United Kingdom
Global Calculator
Name URL Launched Year
Global 2050 Calculator 2015
Other related links
Name URL
2050 Calculator Community website
Website of the International Conference
on 2050 Calculator

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