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For example : why assume that energy consumption on commercial properties would double? Is the population expected to double? I would expect it to be flat, at maximum, with enormous potential to decrease.
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As for new technology improving efficiency, that's cool. If and when that happens, we can just scale back our expansion plans, or stop replacing plant when its design life expires. But "unspecified technical change will make our life easier at some unspecified future date" is not a policy, it's Oil E. Coyote forecasting.
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Now, one can make a case that a given government does have some influence over the embedded carbon in its imports, through border tariffs and the like. But this is not an economic model, and doesn't model economic responses.
As for changes in industrial energy profiles as a result of the decarbonisation program itself, yes, that's a tough question. Of course, that sort of industrial forecasting is a nightmare in itself, let alone integrating it as just one component in an energy model.
There is a model option for "Growth in industry": to give a first-order approximation for the effect of onshoring turbine manufacture, and maybe (consequently) onshoring some steel and concrete production too, then set "Growth in industry" to A: (UK industry output more than doubles by 2050)
But if actual industrial production doubles, then it's not totally out of the ballpark to suggest that the electricity consumption by the support functions (offices, mess halls, etc.) would increase by 33 %, which is the assumption that eurogreen objected to.
On that note, it may be worthwhile to separate use of synthetic lighting and appliances for commercial properties from efficiency of synthetic lighting and appliances. Or it may not, since the annual TWh budget for commercial lighting and appliances is definitely on the low end of the scale.
I'll also second the call elsewhere for an incorporation of electricity-based synthetic liquid fuel and gas plants into the model - that's proven technology that can be rolled out on an industrial scale, and offers the option to use untapped solar and wind reserves to substitute for liquid fuels in those uses that cannot be electrified.
Yeah, synfuels have to be one of the next big things in it. First, I'll get multi-fuel district heating working; then I'll have a look at syn fuels.
If anyone can point me at some references for efficiencies and costs, I'd really appreciate it. I'm in discussions with the team for the original DECC model too, so will pass these on upstream too.
Not entirely sure it matters, since once I pick the options to electrify industry, transport and heating, the variations between the various options on this point approach noise in the system anyway.
lighting consumption will be slashed by LEDs, without any policy encouragements.
It is true that no further policy encouragements are necessary since light bulbs are already being phased out. But phasing them out (in effect ban them from being sold) was a political decision.
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