Energy transition is a part of a much wider Grand Transition, which is not all about energy. Energy transition cannot be achieved all at once or by any one actor. Relying only on better energy modelling and forecasting to guide successful transition will be fatal, even in a data-rich era.

It is timely for energy leaders to ask:

  • Are global energy scenarios achieving their potential in opening up action on new energy futures?
  • How do the Council’s World Energy Scenarios compare with global energy outlooks, scenarios and normative visions used by others and what can we learn by contrasting the increasing richness of energy futures thinking?

In anticipation of the 24th World Energy Congress, the Council is refreshing its global energy foresight and updating its global scenarios narratives. The focus is on an ‘innovation twist to 2040’ and the use of scenarios to explore and navigate new exponential growth opportunities for accelerating successful energy transition in an era of epic and disruptive innovation.

As a part of the refresh, the Council has conducted a comparison study of global energy scenarios in order to test the continued plausibility, relevance and challenge of its own existing scenario set, the World Energy Scenarios 2016, launched at the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul in 2016.

By comparing the methods, narratives and assumptions associated with a benchmarkable set of global energy futures initiatives and studies, the Council seeks to provide our members with clearer understanding and new insights on energy transition while preparing them to better engage with leadership dialogues which pivot on visions of a new energy future.

The review also provides an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and obstacles for utilising global energy scenarios to drive impact, and the challenges in bridging agile and flexible qualitative storytelling with long term, quantitative energy modelling.