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Well, carbon embedded in imports isn't in the baseline, and isn't in the legal targets, so it's not entirely awful to leave it out of a model of the UK's decarbonisation pathway.  The model does include embedded emissions that are exported.  So a suite of such models, if done for each country, would at least be consistent and globally representative.

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)

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Tue Oct 16th, 2012 at 08:54:40 AM EST
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Which I did.

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.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2012 at 09:19:58 AM EST
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I agree that lighting is becoming such a small thing that it's not worth separating out.

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.

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Tue Oct 16th, 2012 at 09:36:25 AM EST
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oops, yes I overlooked your imaginative doubling of the UK's industrial capacity... good luck with that. Off a low base, for sure.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Oct 16th, 2012 at 10:46:28 AM EST
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I don't have hard numbers, but I think a doubling is roughly in the right ballpark for reshoring enough industry to get the net embedded energy in the foreign trade to zero. Certainly a plan that builds 50-60 thousand wind turbines will increase domestic industrial production substantially above trend.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Oct 16th, 2012 at 11:43:27 AM EST
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