Moving from principles to action on energy supply and climate change mitigation requires perspectives of various time frames. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop, workforces take time to train. Policy shifts often also need many years to realise their goals. Any analysis that seeks to tackle energy and environmental issues therefore needs to look decades in advance. Scenarios are important in describing possible development paths, to give decision-makers an overview of future perspectives and to indicate how far they can shape the future energy system.Two different scenarios are used here to characterise the wide range of possible paths for the future energy supply system: a Reference Scenario, reflecting a continuation of current trends and policies, and the Energy [R]evolution Scenario, which is designed to demonstrate the capacity of existing technological and behavioural solutions to transform the way energy is sourced and used.
is based on the reference scenario published by the International Energy Agency inWorld Energy Outlook 2004 (WEO 2004)24.This only takes existing policies into account.The assumptions include, for example, continuing progress in electricity and gas market reforms, the liberalisation of cross border energy trade and recent policies designed to combat environmental pollution.The Reference Scenario does not include additional policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.As the IEA’s scenario only covers a time horizon up to 2030, it has been extended by extrapolating its key macroeconomic indicators.This provides a baseline for comparison with the Energy [R]evolution Scenario.
has a key target for the reduction of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions down to a level of around 10 to 12 Giga tonnes per year by 2050 in order for the increase in global temperature to remain under +2°C.A second objective is the global phasing out of nuclear energy.To achieve these targets, the scenario is characterised by significant efforts to fully exploit the large potential for energy efficiency.At the same time, all cost-effective renewable energy sources are accessed for heat and electricity generation as well as the production of biofuels.The general framework parameters for population and GDP growth remain unchanged from the Reference Scenario.
These scenarios by no means claim to predict the future; they simply describe two potential development paths out of the broad range of possible ‘futures’.The Energy [R]evolution Scenario is designed to indicate the efforts and actions required to achieve its ambitious objectives and to illustrate the options we have at hand to change our energy supply system into one that is sustainable.
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