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Scenarios for the Energy Transition
This Campaign transitioned to a longer-term initiative in 2021 See the LTES Initiative page for more information.
The goal

This campaign, launched at the Ninth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM9) in Copnehagen, Denmark, aims to promote the wider adoption and improved use of long-term model-based energy scenarios by: (1) sharing country experience in the use and benefits of energy scenario modelling for national and
regional policy planning; (2) showcasing innovative tools and methods for energy scenario modelling that address the integration challenges of variable renewable energy (VRE); and (3) identifying channels to build
capacity for clean energy transition planning in countries with limited experience.

This campaign is expected to last from CEM9 to CEM10, but possibly multi-year depending on continued country support. 

Campaign actions

The campaign activities consist of workshops to promote bilateral and multilateral exchanges involving different types of stakeholders, as well as analytical reports that supports and strengthen the outcome of these workshops subject to availability of funds and other resources. These workshops are envisioned to be conceptualized and organized by IRENA in coordination with partner countries and/or organizations. Some potential themes for workshops are listed below, which are envisaged to be delivered in the initial period of the campaign in 2018-2019 (further activities will be developed following CEM10). This list of potential themes is exemplary and not exhaustive. Suggestions for additional/modified themes are highly welcome.

The idea is for workshops to cater to the needs and interests of participating countries and partner organizations, while benefiting all international participants, in line with the scope and focus of the campaign. 

(1) Workshop 1: To exchange country experience in the use and benefits of model-based scenarios for energy transition
The workshop will identify best practices in the use of model-based long-term energy scenarios for policy making. The focus is on those scenarios developed and owned by governments for planning purposes. Prior to the workshop, a survey of CEM countries will screen the successful country applications of modelling tools. The workshop will discuss issues that are linked with development of scenarios and use of scenarios. On the development of scenarios, the workshop aims to identify the areas of improvements in the current modelling practice, particularly with respect to tracking end-use sectors and integrating sector coupling. On the use of scenarios, particular focus is given on the process for deriving policy recommendations from technical scenarios. It also aims to address the different institutional framework that develops scenarios and their impacts on the effectiveness on deriving policy recommendations.
The workshop will have a session on the benefit of regionally coordinated energy planning, in particular on the interconnectors and how that facilitates integration of variable renewable energy in power systems.
Key topics to be discussed include:
- Evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of existing energy planning tools for energy transition scenario and policy support
- Development of clean energy transition scenarios
- Policy development and priority setting based on the scenarios
- Monitoring process
- Regional planning process – development of technical scenarios
- Regional planning process – drawing policy recommendations from technical scenarios
- Improving regional cooperation for better integration of renewables, power trading, and generation adequacy?

(2) Workshop 2: Private sector perspective on long-term scenario planning
The workshop brings key private sector players and policy making officials tighter to discuss the role of long-term energy scenarios in shaping the private sector investment. It addresses in particular how long-term scenarios are used to understand investment risks, opportunities, and decision making. Roles of different institutions (government, international organizations, academic institutions, private sector etc.) in developing scenarios are also discussed. Two main topics discussed are:
- How do investors approach long-term uncertainty on energy markets and the impacts on their business, especially carbon risks in their investment portfolio?
- How are long-term scenarios used in the private sector in assessing the long-term uncertainty and business opportunities? How can policy roadmaps make decarbonization scenarios more credible for investors?
Proposed private stakeholders to be engaged include Shell, Statkraft, Eurelectric, DNV GL, World Energy Council, World Economic Forum, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, among others.

(3) Workshop 3: To identify the critical synergies and gaps to support capacity building for planning clean energy transition
The workshop will provide a forum to discuss capacity-building needs on modelling tools for clean transition planning. The workshop aims to stock-take ongoing initiatives, available modes of support, and discuss key lessons learned in order to identify the areas where donor/recipient coordination is critically needed. 

(4) Workshop 4: To identify innovative planning tools and methods to develop long-term energy scenarios
This technical workshop aims to gather leading research organizations and present innovative planning tools, methods, and policy application examples specifically designed for national energy policy-making purposes. Focus will be on new approaches that integrate the end-use sector modelling (buildings, industry and transport) to enhance the understanding of the interaction of renewable and energy efficiency policies in the light of capital stock turnover rates and consumer preferences.

(5) Workshop 5: Global stock taking of existing national, regional, global scenarios
This workshop aims to gather key international organizations and research institutions and to take stock of existing national, regional, and global scenarios for energy transition, and the insights that can be derived for policy making.
Such efforts may be coordinated with ongoing IPCC process.

A report is planned to be presented at the CEM-10, reflecting the outcome of the workshops. Subject to the availability of funds, this could be expanded into three separate reports:
(1) Planning clean energy transitions with model-based scenarios, best practices and challenges
The report will assess the use of model-based scenarios for clean energy transition in CEM countries, based on survey results and workshop discussions, and will identify best practices and challenges.

(2) Catalogue of innovative planning tools and methods
This catalogue will be prepared based on the workshops and additional inputs from the modelling community through IRENA’s ongoing engagements with the modelling community. The catalogue will be featured in IRENA’s ongoing project to develop an analytical framework focused on Energy Transition assessment through the development of a toolkit to support countries in planning the clean energy transition toward an increased share of renewable energy.

(3) Private sectors perspective on the use of long-term planning
This report will summarize the key findings from the dialogue at the workshop 2.


Why It's Needed

Long-term energy scenarios provide a basis for energy policy making in many countries. Many governments and associated institutions have established institutional frameworks to develop technical scenarios. In practice, the use of such scenarios for successful policy making varies across countries. In order to derive effective policy recommendations from technical modelling and scenario results, political coordination among different ministries, as well as ensuring public participation in the process is critical. The former is particularly relevant in the context of the clean energy transition, which calls for a holistic, system-wide perspective that accounts for synergies such as power sector and energy-end-use sector integration, and better coordination of renewable energy and energy efficiency policies.
Another key aspect of scenario-based planning for the clean energy transition is regional coordination, particularly in the development of physical interconnectors and the creation of regional markets. Such regional coordination often requires parallel political coordination, and can facilitate more efficient operation of power systems with high shares of variable renewable energy.

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Operating Agent

European Commission Joint Research Centre

IEA-Energy Technology Systems Analysis Program