Scenario Modelling for a Low Carbon Wales
Post date: May 19, 2014
The LCRI’s Scenario Modelling team have produced a paper, Scenario Modelling for a Low Carbon Wales, which examines the potential financial and CO2 savings that could be made from the retrofit of low carbon measures on the housing stock in each of the Welsh local authorities.
There has been limited research on the disaggregated potential for energy and cost savings that could be achieved by energy efficiency and low carbon measures on a regional scale, and this work examines the issue across the Welsh local authorities.
The Welsh residential housing stock has a larger share of hard to treat properties compared to the rest of the UK. Whilst this means that any large scale retrofits across the housing stock would have higher marginal costs, there would also be a larger potential for improvements.
Regional energy consumption is influenced by many factors, and is difficult to analyse. There are few studies at regional level, and at the time of conducting the research, there was no regional representative stock model for Wales.
The Scenario modelling team used a Low Carbon Regions, top-down model, and customized the level and detail of the input provided, as well as taking into consideration Welsh region-specific housing information, to increase the accuracy of the model.
Factors include aspects such as the proportion of properties using solid and oil based heating systems in rural areas of Wales compared with the UK as a whole, or the percentage of housing in Wales without high levels of wall insulation, loft insulation and double glazing.
By looking at a regional level, the team was able to show that there was a significant difference between the results from the national data surveys, when scaled down look purely at Wales, for example the residential fuel and electricity measures, variety of building materials resulting in poorer insulation, number of properties utilising best practise levels on insulation etc. The research also showed that when scaling down the model to regional level, local data is not always available, so certain aspects of the research could be improved in time when more data about the local housing stock becomes available.
Professor Malcolm Eames from LCRI’s Scenario Modelling team said:
“This research shows the value of looking at issues such as retrofitting housing stock from a both a national and regional scale. It demonstrates that it is important to look at the problem of cutting carbon and making energy costs savings from a local perspective. This allows us to refine our recommendations, and rather than offering general solutions, we can suggest carbon and energy cost cutting measures specifically for Wales, based on the latest information. “