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Generating the future: UK energy systems fit for 2050

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook


  • Roger Kemp
  • Sue Ion
  • Nick Cumpsty
  • David Fisk
  • Nick Jenkins
  • Michael Kelly
  • John Loughhead
  • John Roberts
Publication date03/2010
Place of publicationLondon
PublisherRoyal Academy of Engineering
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)1 903496 54 3
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Climate Change Act 2008 committed the UK to at least 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. While there is a wealth of reports and studies on future energy systems and technologies, there is no clear and realistic overall picture of how these targets might be achieved and what such an energy system might look like.
This report, produced by a working group of Fellows of The Royal Academy of Engineering, considered possible energy scenarios that could meet the 2050 emissions reduction target. The study showed that:
 There is no single ‘silver bullet’ that will achieve the required 80% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Fundamental restructuring of the whole of the UK’s energy system will be unavoidable.
- Demand reductions across all sectors of the economy will be essential through a combination of increased efficiencies and behavioural change.
- The full suite of low-carbon energy supply technologies already available (or identified as credible) will be needed, including nuclear, renewables and carbon capture and storage brought together in a balanced way.
- The scale of the engineering challenge is massive.