World Energy Scenarios

Project Partner: Accenture Strategy & Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)

The World Energy Council has been developing scenarios for more than two decades with the aim to provide its global community a shared, strategic framework and a tool that can be used to test, design and consider more and better solutions to future connected energy challenges and accelerate successful energy transition.

The most recent set of global scenarios called World Energy Scenarios: The Grand Transition was released in October 2016 at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul.

The report has developed three plausible scenarios to 2060 to support the conversation on climate change agenda. The three scenarios are Modern Jazz, which represents a ‘digitally disrupted,’ innovative, and market-driven world. Unfinished Symphony, a world in which more ‘intelligent’ and sustainable economic growth models emerge as the world drives to a low carbon future, and a more fragmented scenario called Hard Rock, which explores the consequences of weaker and unsustainable economic growth with inward-looking policies.

The Council’s scenario building process and application can be focussed on different time horizons, geographies and themes. In 2017-2018 several scenarios initiatives were published.

The LAC Energy Scenarios, and Regional Perspective for Sub-Saharan Africa were developed to look at regional stories and implications for local stakeholders. The Role of Natural Gas report was developed to explore the sectoral perspective in three scenarios. More focussed approach were taken in the report Alternative pathways for Mexico to 2030: exploring business model innovation to define the role of business model innovation in Mexico.

World Energy Scenarios at glance

Forward looking plan

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 energetic growth opportunities for accelerating successful energy transition in an era of disruptive innovation.

As a part of the refresh, the Council conducted a comparison study of global energy scenarios in order to test the plausibility, relevance and challenge of its own existing scenarios. World Energy Insights Brief – Global Energy Scenarios Comparison Review compares the methods, narratives and assumptions of global energy futures initiatives, and provides users with clearer understanding and new insights on energy transition.

The Council continues to extend its regional footprint and developing regionally focussed scenarios to 2040 building on the Council’s global scenarios’ archetypes. The initiative on two regions were launched: the European region and Middle East and Gulf States region with GCC focus. The Council is also developing sectoral perspective – Nuclear Insights Brief to explore the changing role of nuclear in energy systems in each of three global scenarios.

To enable energy users successfully use global scenarios the Council has embarked on development of a powerful new concept and application tool – Constellations of Disruptions (“CoDs”). CoDs tool aims to help energy leaders to better understand new patterns of disruptive innovation and secure energetic growth opportunities.

The European and Middle East & Gulf States (GCC) regional sets of narratives and Nuclear Insights Brief will be released during summer 2019. The updated set of global scenarios with new stories together with Constellation of Disruption concept note will be launched at the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu-Dhabi in September.

List of different applications of World Energy Scenarios and publications:

The Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC) Energy Scenarios examines the future of the regional energy context to 2060 and explore Samba, Tango and Rock stories.

The Role of Natural Gas Perspective report, were developed in 2017 with support of the Global Gas Centre (GGC) analyses in greater detail the place of natural gas in the three World Energy Scenarios.

Alternative pathways for Mexico to 2030: exploring business model innovation uses the World Energy Scenarios to explore the role of business model innovation in promoting the sustainable use of energy for all in national context.

Regional Perspective for Sub-Saharan Africa report presents a preliminary set of implications for the Sub-Saharan African region according to each of the World Energy Scenarios.

World Energy Insights Brief – Global Energy Scenarios Comparison Review is a comparison study of global energy scenarios that contrasts different methods, narratives and assumptions of global energy futures initiatives.

Gerald (Ged) Davis, Chair of the World Energy Scenario Study Group
Gerald (Ged) Davis Executive Chair WEC Scenatios

Gerald (Ged) Davis is the Executive Chair of the World Energy Scenarios flagship study.

Ged is also the President and CEO of Forescene S.A., and has led a large number of future-oriented projects during his career. He is experienced in global business, energy and sustainability, dealing with all regions of the world over the last 40 years, managing large teams, coordinating world-wide networks and designing and implementing large events. He is particularly knowledgeable on energy matters and has been a pioneer in applying sustainability concepts to the energy business and developing the use of global scenarios.

“The World Energy Council’s forward-looking studies provide a unique opportunity to synthesise insights gained from participant organisations, and the many studies undertaken by the Council, especially the World Energy Resources and World Energy Trilemma policy reports. The strategic exploration of these scenarios by governments, business and other stakeholders provides new options for moving both local and global agendas forward.”

Ged was Co-President of the Global Energy Assessment Council, which governed a network of some 300 energy researchers and 200 reviewers. He was a Managing Director of the World Economic Forum from 2003 to 2007 and conceived, developed and successfully implemented a world class Strategic Insights program to underpin the Forum’s partnership activities. He was Vice President of Global Business Environment at Shell International from 1999 to 2003, and head of Shell’s scenario planning team. He holds a first class degree in mining engineering from Imperial College, London, and postgraduate degrees in economics and engineering from the London School of Economics and Stanford University.


For more information, please Email Anastasia Belostotskaya