China set to unveil its own version of government’s online 2050 Calculator tool this week
A UK government delegation will this week travel to China to help the country and others replicate an online tool praised for furthering the debate on climate change and energy policy.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has been working with the Chinese Energy Research Institute (ERI) to develop a Chinese version of the UK’s 2050 Calculator and will unveil the results at a conference on Tuesday.
Ravi Gurumurthy, director of strategy at DECC, told BusinessGreen that Chinese officials on a trade mission last year were impressed with the modelling tool, which was launched on DECC’s website in 2010 and allows users to view the risks and trade-offs associated with potential pathways to a low-carbon energy system in the UK.
China’s latest five-year plan calls for a huge increase in clean energy capacity to 2015, while reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 16 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.
Gurumurthy said the ERI is looking to use the calculator to help engage the public and senior political figures in what the country’s energy decisions translate into on the ground.
“At the moment, they can’t have a practical conversation about what different energy futures look like,” he said. “The Chinese model will mimic our spreadsheet model and have an identical look and feel, apart from a slight difference in sectors.
“China laying out data in an open way will also be extremely useful,” he added. “But we’ll have to wait and see if we just get the frontend data.”
Among the 10 other countries attending the conference are Russia, the US and Indonesia, and Gurumurthy said he was “confident” they too would look to create their own versions, which would be a “very useful” toll coming into the Doha Climate Conference in December.
Co-operations have also sprung up with South Africa, Bangladesh, the Walloon government in Belgium and South Korean academics.
The conference comes just weeks after the government was criticised by a committee of MPs for failing to build strong enough trade links with China’s booming green goods and services sector.