Global Energy Scenarios with the World Energy Council (WEC)
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.
In the first stage of this project, 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.
In the second stage of the project, 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") (in English, in German), with the scenario storylines of "Jazz" and "Symphony".
The scenarios have been enhanced in a third and fourth stage 2016 and again in 2019 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".
"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
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
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.
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
Davis, G., S. Kim, T. Kober, and E. Panos (2017). Latin America and The Caribbean Energy Scenarios, Vol. World Energy Council. London, Download
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
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
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