Business as Usual 2050

  • Northern Ireland 2050
  • Last updated
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Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has created ETM scenarios to explore policy options for their new Energy Strategy. The body responsible for advising the UK and devolved governments on climate change – the Climate Change Committee (CCC) – has advised that Northern Ireland’s contribution is an 82% reduction in all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The CCC has advised that an 82% reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions is consistent with net zero carbon in Northern Ireland. As almost all (96%) of energy-related emissions are carbon, the focus in the Energy Strategy is to achieve net zero carbon-energy by 2050.

On 31 March 2021 Minister Diane Dodds has launched the Policy Options Consultation Paper for the new Energy Strategy. For more information on this consultation have a look on the website of the Department for the Economy of Northern Ireland. On this page you can also find a detailed report presenting the assumptions behind their scenarios. This report describes different plausible energy system transition pathways for NI to achieve net zero carbon-energy by 2050. This report analyses the development of the NI energy system across four scenarios:

  1. Business as Usual
  2. High Electrification
  3. High Gasification
  4. Diverse

Business as Usual

A business as usual scenario for Northern Ireland examines the potential impact of maintaining the current range of energy policies and programmes (with the exception of any new policies already announced). Relevant UK-wide policy such as Road to Zero (low emission vehicles) is assumed to be adopted in Northern Ireland as required, although no additional measures are in place to speed up deployment.

Key assumptions are:

  • Gradual move from oil to gas for home heating.
  • Electricity demand increases due to more electric vehicles.
  • Renewable electricity (RES-E) minimum 40% out to 2050 maintained.
  • Lower final energy demand through:
    • Continuation of existing energy efficiency measures;
    • Increase in public transport usage, walking, wheeling and cycling; and
    • Some reduction in energy consumption due to increased awareness and behavioural change amongst the population.

Further details on the sources of all data items utilised to build the base year for 2018 are available at the ETM Library.

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