World Energy Scenarios 2016: The Grand Transition

November 2016

IRANZ Executive Officer Rob Whitney was part of a World Energy Council (WEC) team that developed three 2060 energy scenarios. Their report was launched last month at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul. The report ‘World Energy Scenarios 2016: The Grand Transition’ presents three exploratory scenarios – Modern Jazz, Unfinished Symphony, and Hard Rock.  In the report WEC warns us that the future will be different. Disruptive trends are emerging that will create a fundamentally new world for the energy industry, characterised by lower population growth, radical new technologies, greater environmental challenges, and a shift in economic and geopolitical power.

The Modern Jazz scenario represents a ‘digitally disrupted,’ innovative, and market-driven world. Unfinished Symphony represents a world in which more ‘intelligent’ and sustainable economic growth and low carbon models emerge, and Hard Rock is a more fragmented scenario, which explores the consequences of weaker and unsustainable economic growth with inward-looking policies.

Modern Jazz has good economic growth, everyone in the world has access to electricity by 2060 and CO2 emissions fall from 2040 onwards. Unfinished Symphony does best on climate change, getting close to the IPCC 2oC CO2 emissions target but more is needed for the 1.5oC target set at Paris. Hard Rock which is probably closest to a business as usual scenario falls well short on economic growth and climate change targets.

For more and to download the report see World Energy Scenarios 2016 - The Grand Transition.