Global Energy Scenarios (2011 - 2024)
In 2011, the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the World Energy Council (WEC) established a Partnership to develop jointly global energy scenarios with the aim to improve understanding of options for responding to global energy-related challenges confronting society (such as, improving access to affordable energy for economic development; reducing environmental impacts of energy use; and maintaining energy security). The development of these scenarios is unique in bringing together a broad range of expert views of energy industry stakeholders from WEC with the strong academic energy systems background of PSI.
These scenario are developed through a multi-stakeholder process to envisage different trajectories of the energy system and define comprehensive narrative storylines. These are translated into a coherent set of quantitative scenario assumptions which are then analyzed with a comprehensive energy system model, called GMM (the Global Multi-regional MARKAL model). GMM provides a detailed bottom-up representation of energy technologies, of primary resources for energy carriers, and of the energy end-use sectors. The scenario quantification with GMM provides a deeper insight into the implications of different scenario storylines, allowing the identification of robust trends and of key drivers of the energy system to support understanding of different options for decision makers.
Global Energy Scenarios 2024
Current project for WEC Congress 22 - 25 April 2024 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Global Energy Scenarios 2019
Excerpt from executive summary of World Energy Scenarios 2019 (launched at World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi):
Since the World Energy Council last published its World Energy Scenarios in 2016, we have experienced three years of comparatively high, carbon-centric energy demand and a marked acceleration in renewable energy developments. A new pattern of geostrategic competition is emerging that is further straining the multilateral system and impacting global trade. What has changed most, however, is the speed and volatility of changes and unevenness of impacts. Fragmentation and polarisation of leadership and poor economic returns limiting the license to invest for market players are emerging as some of the biggest risks in managing successful energy transition. Meanwhile, energy leaders are also challenged to make sense of the fast-shifting landscape of innovation and the new spirt of entrepreneurialism in energy. A fresh focus on energy systems innovation and the emerging phenomenon of “disruption-as-usual” is both timely and relevant to energy transition leaders within and beyond the energy sector.
- 3 Slides summary: slides
- Presentation at ETH Zurich: 29. Oktober 2019, 17-19h: Zurich
- Presentation at EPFL: 6. November 2019, 17-19h: Lausanne
- Publications: Kober et al., 2020; Full report (Frei et al. ,2019a); Report on Europe (Frei et al., 2019b); Report on nuclear power (Frei et al. 2019c). See below for full references.
Summary of PSI's work on scenario quantification:
In 2019, the EEG updated the three World Energy Scenarios for explorative pathways for the energy transition to 2060; the scenario narratives are developed in a stakeholder process drawing from the network of over 3,000 member organizations in 90 countries; the scenario Modern Jazz depicts a market-led, innovative, and digitally disrupted world with uneven economic growth; the scenario Unfinished Symphony depicts a globally more coordinated, policy-led world with long-term planning, particularly for a low-carbon future; and Hard Rock depicts a regionally fragmented world with inward looking policies and lower growth. The scenarios are quantified by the EEG consistently in terms of input assumptions, ranging from energy demand for the various end-use services to GPD and population assumptions until 2060; the update of 2019 focuses now also on the medium-term time horizon of 2040.
PSI used again its Global Multi-Regional MARKAL (GMM) model to quantify the scenarios. GMM is a technology-detailed partial-equilibrium model; shares of technologies and of energy carriers as well as the final energy demands are determined endogenously, whereas the demands of useful energy (services) are inputs. For the 2019 update, recent developments of the energy sector have been implemented, such as updated trajectories for costs and technology performance of emerging technologies (e.g. electric vehicles) and implications of digitalization. The model was disaggregated from 15 regions to 17 regions to reflect developments in the Middle East / North Africa regions.
Selected results are as follows: Compared to 2016 scenarios, there is a higher speed of innovation, including a rapid shifts in societal norms. Digitalisation is impacting the whole energy value chain and enabling higher gains in energy efficiency, which leads in the 2019 update to lower energy intensity per GDP. Efficiency gains are also enabled by a higher share of electricity in final energy consumption, which now reaches 31% in 2040 and 41% in 2060 in Unfinished Symphony (compared to 23% and 30% respectively in the 2016 study; Hard Rock stays at 27%). Efficiency is also driven by transport: Conventional private car energy consumption drops by 32% in Modern Jazz, 39% in Unfinished Symphony (still growths by 31% in H. Rock) from 2020 to 2040 due to electric battery and hybrid cars. CO2 emissions peak in Unfinished Symphony and in Modern Jazz in 2020-30; but cannot still reach net-zero in 2050 as in the 2016 installment. The deployment of hydrogen is at a higher pace, specifically in Unfinished Symphony due to government cooperation and policy support, which allows to scale-up power-to-X pathways more quickly.
Global Energy Scenarios 2016
The scenarios have been enhanced in a third stage 2016 to reflect current trends in energy use, energy technology advancements, and digitalization, among updated macro-economic and social drivers: "Modern Jazz", "Unfinished Symphony", and "Hard Rock".
See list of publications below.
Comparison of Global Energy Scenarios 2016
To put the WEC-PSI scenarios in perspective, some key characteristics are compared to the other recent global scenario studies here.
Global Energy Scenarios 2013
Based on the global transport senarios, the scenario analysis has been further developed and extended to cover the entire global energy system in year 2013. The results of this second stage are summarized in PSI's Energie-Spiegel ("Mirror on Energy"), with the scenario storylines of "Jazz" and "Symphony".
See list of publications below.
Global Transport Scenarios 2011
In the first stage of the collaboration with WEC, the mobility sector was analyzed with a global 17-region model and two scenarios: "Freeway" describing a world of limited government intervention dominated by shorter-term free-market forces; and "Tollway" envisaging a world where markets are more regulated and alternative technologies are supported by decision makers.
See list of publications below.
- 10 September, 2019: DE: https://www.psi.ch/de/media/forschung/das-ist-unglaublich-ambitioniert EN: https://www.psi.ch/en/media/our-research/this-is-incredibly-ambitious
- 14 October, 2013: A glimpse at the future of global energy supply. PSI Media Release. English
- 27 January, 2012: Kein Blick in die Kristallkugel. PSI Media Release. German
Kober, T., Schiffer, H.-W., Densing, M., Panos, E. (2020) Global energy perspectives to 2060 - WEC's world energy scenarios 2019. Energy Strategy Reviews, 31, pp. 100523. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esr.2020.100523
Frei, C., Wilkinson, A., de Noblet, G., Kober, T., Panos, E., Densing, M., et al. (2019). World Energy Scenarios 2019 - Exploring Disruptive Innovations in Global Energy Pathways to 2040. World Energy Council, London. https://www.worldenergy.org/publications/entry/world-energy-scenarios-2019-exploring-innovation-pathways-to-2040
Frei, C., Wilkinson, A., de Noblet, G., Kober, T., Panos, E., Densing, M., et al. (2019). World Energy Scenarios 2019 - European regional perspectives. World Energy Council, London. https://www.worldenergy.org/publications/entry/world-energy-scenarios-2019-european-regional-perspectives
Frei, C., Komarov, K., Belostotskaya, A., Kober, T., Panos, E., Densing, M., et al. (2019). World Energy Scenarios 2019 - The future of nuclear: Diverse harmonies in the energy transition. World Energy Council, London. https://www.worldenergy.org/publications/entry/world-energy-scenarios-2019-the-future-of-nuclear-diverse-harmonies-in-the-energy-transition
Schiffer, HW., Kober, T., Panos, E. (2018). World Energy Council’s Global Energy Scenarios to 2060, Zeitschrift für Energiewirtschaft, Vol. p.1-12, pp. doi.org/10.1007/s12398-018-0225-3
Volkart, K., Mutel, C. Panos, E. (2018). Integrating life cycle assessment and energy system modelling: Methodology and application to the world energy scenarios, Sustainable Production and Consumption https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2018.07.001
Kober, T., Panos, E., Volkart K. (2018). Energy system challenges of deep global CO2 emissions reduction under the World Energy Council’s scenario framework, In Giannakidis G., K. Karlsson, M. Labriet, B. Ó Gallachóir (eds.) Limiting Global Warming to Well Below 2°C: Energy System Modelling and Policy Development, p. 17-31
Davis, G., S. Kim, T. Kober, and E. Panos (2017). Latin America and The Caribbean Energy Scenarios. World Energy Council, London. https://www.worldenergy.org/publications/entry/world-energy-scenarios-2017-latin-america-the-caribbean-energy-scenarios
Davis, G., Vargas, M., Kober, T., Panos, E., Volkart, K. et al. (2016). World Energy Scenarios - The Grand Transition, Project Partner Accenture Strategy and Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). World Energy Council, London, ISBN 978-0-946121-57-1 https://www.worldenergy.org/publications/entry/world-energy-scenarios-2016-the-grand-transition
Panos E., Densing M., Volkart K. (2016). Access to electricity in the World Energy Council's global energy scenarios: An outlook for developing regions until 2030, Energy Strategy Reviews, Vol. 9, pp. 28-49, Elsevier doi:10.1016/j.esr.2015.11.003
Panos E., Turton H., Densing M., Volkart K. (2015). Powering the growth of Sub-Saharan Africa: The Jazz and Symphony scenarios of World Energy Council, Energy for Sustainable Development, Vol. 26, pp. 14-33, Elsevier doi:10.1016/j.esd.2015.01.004 ISSN 0973-0826
Campbell D., Densing M., Panos E., et al. (2015). New Zealand Energy Scenarios – Navigating energy futures to 2050, World Energy Council, BusinessNZ Energy Council. Project Partners: Paul Scherrer Institute, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sapere Research Group. full reportproject webpage
Frei C., Turton H., Densing M., Panos E., Volkart K. et al. (2013). World Energy Scenarios – Composing energy futures to 2050, Project Partner Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Switzerland. World Energy Council, London, ISBN 978-0-946121-33-5. https://www.worldenergy.org/publications/entry/world-energy-scenarios-composing-energy-futures-to-2050
Laboratory for Energy Analysis (2013). A glimpse into the future, Energie-Spiegel Nr. 22, Paul Scherrer Institute, English (2.4MB), German (2.5MB)
Turton H., Panos E., Densing M., Volkart K. (2013). Global Multi-regional MARKAL (GMM) model update: Disaggregation to 15 regions and 2010 recalibration, PSI Bericht 13-03, Download (4MB)
Frei, C., Al-Qahtani, A., Densing, M., Turton H, et al. (2011). Global Transport Scenarios 2050, Project Partners: IBM Corporation and Paul Scherrer Institute, https://www.worldenergy.org/publications/entry/world-energy-scenarios-global-transport-scenarios-2050ISBN 978-0-946121-14-4/978-0-946121-13-7