Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050
Deciding the Future: Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050 is a major study from the 2005-2007 work cycle of the World Energy Council (WEC). It follows earlier WEC work, Energy for Tomorrow's World (1993) and Global Energy Perspectives (1998) that were updated in WEC's Millennium Statement Energy for Tomorrow's World - Acting Now! (2000) and Drivers of the Energy Scene (2003) .
WEC decided at its Sydney Congress in 2004 to build new energy scenarios with three principal changes from previous work. First, the scenarios should be based on policy and on "bottom-up" regional and specialist work of the Member Committees of WEC. Second, they should test plausible storylines against the criteria of the WEC sustainability goals of energy Accessibility, Availability and Acceptability (the 3 A's). Finally, they should have a sufficiently long-term focus to underpin clear recommendations on policies and actions that will achieve targeted results by 2050.
With this study WEC seeks to contribute further to the debate on global energy sustainability and to the understanding of prospective collective roles in achieving WEC's mission, "to promote the sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest benefit of all." The study aims to:
Better understand possible energy futures;
Assess the challenges presented in these energy futures; and
Identify the role that policy may play to help or hinder the achievement of WEC's Millennium Goals of Accessibility, Availability, and Acceptability.
Key issues for the energy scene covered in this report include:
Supply pressures involving risk in the security of global resources; the outlook for infrastructure investment and alternative energy sources; research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D); and the introduction of new technologies.
Demand pressures related to forecasts of economic growth, expectations of consumer and industrial demand, constraints imposed by existing infrastructures, and related expectations of global economic volatility, all in key regional markets,
Environmental pressures and the likelihood of political, legislative, and social action to reduce carbon emissions in the near future, and;
Political pressures linked to potential political actions in key regions, including the Middle East, Russia, Latin America, and Central and West Africa; a major question is whether national governments will use energy resources to increase their political influence on global policy and to what degree;
I am grateful to the WEC Studies Committee and the Officers Council for their analytical and financial support for this work and I want to particularly thank Brian Statham of ESKOM for his leadership as Chair of the Scenarios Study Group over the last three years.
CP Jain, Chair,
WEC Studies Committee