In their task to drawing up a strategy for a transition to more secure, equitable and sustainable energy systems, decision-makers face significant uncertainty. As a result, they use scenarios to anticipate changes and inform their decisions. However, most past energy forecasts and projections have failed to correctly anticipate the evolution of energy consumption. This is not surprising since there are sources of uncertainty within the models used to create scenarios and predictions, as well as fundamental changes in policy or other exogenous drivers that may (unexpectedly) change the level of energy demand.
Nonetheless, industry and policymakers continue to develop forecasts and/or scenarios because information and models are needed as a basis for decision guidance. IRGC observed that there are shortcomings in the ways scenarios are being developed and used (and abused), especially if they provide a false sense of confidence in projected or narrated evolutions of energy systems, including end-use demand.
IRGC seeks to help relevant authorities select demand forecasting and projection methodologies, including different types of scenarios, to better anticipate the demand in order to improve governance of energy transitions.
On 9-10 October 2014, IRGC, in collaboration with its partners Helmholtz Alliance Energy-Trans and CEDM, hosted a workshop entitled “Demand Anticipation: Improving Methods to Assess Future Energy Demand” at KIT/ITAS in Karlsruhe, Germany. The workshop probed improvements that can be made to the development and use of scenarios and models, focusing on their use for assessing energy demand.
Highlights from the workshop are available for download here.
A Concept Note, entitled “Assessment of Future Energy Demand: A Methodological Review Providing Guidance to Developers and Users of Energy Models and Scenarios”, based on literature review and workshop inputs, is available here (pdf). You will also find an outline of the most important points on the presentation below.