Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books


Christian Dieckhoff
Wolf Fichtner
Armin Grunwald
et al.

Energy [R]evolution Scenarios Development, Experiences and Suggestions

Sven Teske

Texte intégral

1 Status Quo: How did Greenpeace use energy scenarios in recent years and how has the work evolved? What are the experiences?

1.1 The early days of Greenpeace energy scenarios

1Greenpeace works with energy scenarios since the early 1990s. The first global energy scenario was published 1993; “The fossil fuels free future” scenario which was done by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). While this model was rather simple, Greenpeace developed further scenarios in the following years. Between 1994 and 2004, Greenpeace offices in over 20 countries developed energy scenarios for countries and/or regions. However there was a growing need for a standardization as all those scenarios could not be compared to each other.

2Greenpeace used those energy scenarios to identify a critical pathway towards a fossil and nuclear energy phase out. Those scenarios were produced to both get a clearer idea what needs to be done for internal purposes as well as for the communication to a wider audience. While the environmental movement of the 1970s and 1980s focused on highlighting the problem, it became an integral part of the work by Greenpeace in the1990th to show the way out of environmental destruction. “Solutions campaigning” requires clear and easy to understand blueprints what needs to be done to solve a problem in order to get heard by policy makers. Therefore energy scenarios became a centre piece of work for Greenpeace. The “Energy [R]evolution” series started in 2005 and have been ground breaking work – not only – for the Greenpeace climate and energy work, as it was possible to show for the first time how to achieve a series of different political targets. A much stronger coordination within different environmental targets – such as nuclear phase out, sustainable agriculture, ocean and forest conservation was necessary in order to identify the deployment of other energy sources such as biomass or offshore wind.

1.2 Five years of energy [R]evolution scenarios – five years of development: 2005 – 2010

3Since Greenpeace published the first Energy [R]evolution scenario in May 2005 (covering the EU-25 countries) during a seven month boat trip from Poland all the way down to Egypt, the project has developed significantly. That very first Energy [R]evolution scenario was launched on board the ship with the support of former EREC Policy Director Oliver Schäfer. This was the beginning of a long-lasting and fruitful collaboration between Greenpeace International and the European Renewable Energy Council. The German Space Agency’s Institute for Technical Thermodynamics, under the leadership of Dr. Wolfram Krewitt, was the scientific research institute behind all the analyses which supports the scenario. Between 2005 and 2009 these three very different stakeholders managed to put together over 30 scenarios for countries from all continents of the world and published two editions of the Global Energy [R]evolution. It has since become a well-respected blueprint for progress towards an alternative energy future. The work was translated into more than 15 different languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, Thai and Russian.

4The concept of the Energy [R]evolution scenario has been under constant development from the beginning. Now, for example, we are able to calculate the employment effects in parallel with the scenario development. Also the program MESAP/PlaNet was developed by the software company seven2one, providing many features to make the project more sophisticated. For the 2010 edition we developed a specific standard report tool which provides us with a “ready to print” executive summary for each region or country. This allows our calculations to interact between all the world regions, resulting in the global scenario opening up like a cascade. All these new developments enabled us to provide ever improving quality, faster development times and more user friendly outputs. Over the past few years an experienced team of 20 scientists from all regions of the world has been formed in order to review the regional and/or country specific scenarios and to make sure that they are appropriate to the specific geographical area.

5In some cases the Energy [R]evolution scenarios were the first long term energy scenario ever produced for a particular country, for example the Turkish scenario published in 2009. Since the first Global Energy [R]evolution scenario was published in January 2007, we organised side events at every single UNFCCC climate conference, countless energy conferences and panel debates. Over 200 presentations in more than 30 languages always had one message in common: “The Energy Revolution is possible; it is needed and will pay for itself in benefits for future generations!” Many high level meetings took place, for example on 15th July 2009, when the Chilean President Michelle Bachelet attended our launch event for the Energy [R]evolution in Chile. The Energy [R]evolution work is a cornerstone of the Greenpeace climate and energy work worldwide and we would like to thank all the stakeholders who have been involved. Unfortunately, in October 2009, Dr. Wolfram Krewitt from DLR passed away far too early and left a huge gap for everybody. His energy and dedication helped to make the project a true success story. Arthouros Zervos and Christine Lins from EREC have been involved in this work from the very beginning and Sven Teske from Greenpeace International has led the project since its first beginnings in late 2004. The well received layout of all the Energy [R]evolution series was produced – also from the very beginning – by Tania Dunster and Jens Christiansen from “onehemisphere” in Sweden, and with enormous passion, especially in the final phase when the reports went to press.

6Finally, all the Global Energy [R]evolution scenarios were published in a number of scientific and peer review journals such as “Energy Policy” and Springer’s “Energy Efficiency” and were quoted in over 100 books about renewable energy.

7The box below provides a selection of milestones of the progress of the Energy [R]evolution story between 2005 and June 2010.

June 2005

First Energy [R]evolution scenario for EU-25 presented in Luxembourg for members of the EU’s Environmental Council.

July – August 2005

National Energy [R]evolution scenarios for France, Poland and Hungary launched during an “Energy [R]evolution” boat trip with a sailing vessel across Europe (Poland to Egypt via Rhine, Danube, Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea).

January 2007

First Global Energy [R]evolution Scenario published parallel in Brussels and Berlin

April 2007

Launch of the Turkish translation of the Global scenario.

July 2007

Launch of the Turkish translation of the Global scenario.
Launch of Futu[r]e Investment – an analysis of the needed global investment pathway for the Energy [R]evolution scenarios.

November 2007

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for Indonesia in Jakarta/Indonesia.

January 2008

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for New Zealand in Wellington/NZ.

March 2008

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for China in Beijing/China.

March 2008

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for China in Beijing/China.

June 2008

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for Japan in Aoi Mori & Tokyo/Japan.

June 2008

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for Australia in Canberra/Australia.

August 2008

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for the Philippines in Manila/Philippines.

August 2008

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for Mexico in Mexico

October 2008

Launch of the second edition of the Global Energy [R]evolution Report.

December 2008

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for the EU-27 in Brussels/Belgium.

December 2008

Launch of a concept for specific feed-in tariff mechanism to implement the Global Energy [R]evolution Report in developing countries at a COP13 side event in Poznan/Poland.

March 2009

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for the USA in Washington/USA.

March 2009

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for India in Delhi/India.

April 2009

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for Russia in Moscow/Russia.

May 2009

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for Canada in Ottawa/Canada.

June 2009

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for Greece in Athens/Greece.

June 2009

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for Italy in Rome/Italy.

July 2009

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for Chile in Santiago/Chile.

July 2009

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for Argentina in Buenos Aires/Argentina.

September 2009

Launch of the first detailed job analysis “Working for the Climate” – based on the global Energy [R]evolution report in Sydney/Australia.

October 2009

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for South Africa in Johannesburg/SA.

November 2009

Launch of the Energy [R]evolution for Turkey in Istanbul/Turkey

November 2009

Launch of “Renewable 24/7” a detailed analysis for the needed grid infrastructure in order to implement the Energy [R]evolution for Europe with 90% renewable power in Berlin/Germany.

June 2010

Launch of the third edition of the Global Energy [R]evolution Report.

October 2010

Publication in “Energy Efficiency” by Springer.

2 The third edition of the Energy [R]evolution Scenario

8Between the first launch of the Energy [R]evolution scenario in January 2007 and the third edition in June 2010, this work evolved and many experiences we made with the first two editions lead to several changes and editions. The main differences between the 1st and the 3rd editions are the following:

  • All regional scenarios are now published in one book rather than in 10 different reports like in the first edition

  • The investment pathway of the power sector was outlined

  • Fuel cost savings were added

  • Needed production capacities for renewable energy technologies in the power sector were added

  • Employment impact of the scenarios was added

  • An advanced Energy [R]evolution was added as a reaction to the debate in climate science that the CO2 reduction of the basic Energy [R]evolution might not be enough to stay below 2°C

  • New policy mechanisms were developed in order to provide examples how to implement renewable energy technologies

2.1 Executive summary of Energy [R]evolution 2010

9This third edition of the Energy [R]evolution is even more ambitious and visionary than the previous two editions. The report demonstrates how the world can get from where we are now to where we need to be in terms of phasing out fossil fuels, cutting CO2 while ensuring energy security. This phase-out of fossil fuels offers substantial benefits such as independence from world market fossil fuel prices as well as the creation of millions of new green jobs. It also means providing energy to the two billion people currently without power. Our future and the future of the planet is rooted in the investment in people and local communities in terms of installing and maintaining renewable energy sources, rather than further subsidising the dirty fossil fuels which are inherently finite. The following executive summary outlines in brief a practical blueprint of how to make this a reality.

2.2 Environmental challenge

10The threat of climate change, caused by rising global temperatures, is the most significant environmental challenge facing the world at the beginning of the 21st century. It has major implications for the world’s social and economic stability, its natural resources and in particular, the way we produce our energy.

11The Copenhagen Accord, agreed at the climate change summit in December 2009, has the stated aim of keeping the increase in global temperatures to below 2°C, and then considering a 1.5°C limit by 2015. However, the national emissions reduction pledges submitted by various countries to the United Nations coordinating body, the UNFCCC, in the first half of 2010 are likely to lead to a world with global emissions of between 47.9 and 53.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per year by 2020. This is about 10-20% higher than today’s levels. In the worst case, the Copenhagen Accord pledges could even permit emission allowances to exceed a ‘business as usual’ projection [Rogelj et al. 2010]. In order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, the global temperature increase must be kept as far below 2°C as possible. This is still possible, but time is running out. To stay within this limit, global greenhouse gas emissions will need to peak by 2015 and decline rapidly after that, reaching as close to zero as possible by the middle of the 21st century.

2.3 A safe level of warming?

12Keeping the global temperature increase to 2°C is often referred to as a ‘safe level’ of warming, but this does not reflect the reality of the latest science. This shows that a warming of 2°C above pre-industrial levels would pose unacceptable risks to many of the world’s key natural and human systems [Hare 2009]. Even with a 1.5°C warming, increases in drought, heatwaves and floods, along with other adverse impacts such as increased water stress for up to 1.7 billion people, wildfire frequency and flood risks, are projected in many regions. Neither does staying below 2°C rule out large-scale disasters such as melting ice sheets. Partial de-glaciation of the Greenland ice sheet, and possibly the West Antarctic ice sheet, could even occur from additional warming within a range of 0.8-3.8°C above current levels [Smith et al. 2008]. If rising temperatures are to be kept within acceptable limits, then we need to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This makes both environmental and economic sense. The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by using fossil fuels for energy and transport.

2.4 Climate change and security of supply

13Spurred by recent rapidly fluctuating oil prices, the issue of security of supply – both in terms of access to supplies and financial stability – is now at the top of the energy policy agenda. One reason for these price fluctuations is the fact that supplies of all proven resources of fossil fuels – oil, gas and coal – are becoming scarcer and more expensive to produce. So-called ‘non-conventional’ resources such as shale oil have even in some cases become economic, with devastating consequences for the local environment. What is certain is that the days of ‘cheap oil and gas’ are coming to an end. Uranium, the fuel for nuclear power, is also a finite resource. By contrast, the reserves of renewable energy that are technically accessible globally are large enough to provide about six times more power than the world currently consumes – forever. Renewable energy technologies vary widely in their technical and economic maturity, but there are a range of sources which offer increasingly attractive options. These include wind, biomass, photovoltaics, solar thermal, geothermal, ocean and hydroelectric power. Their common feature is that they produce little or no greenhouse gases, and rely on virtually inexhaustible natural elements for their ‘fuel’. Some of these technologies are already competitive. The wind power industry, for example, continued its explosive growth in the face of a global recession and a financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 and is a testament to the inherent attractiveness of renewable technology. Last year (2009) Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported the total level of annual investment in clean energy as $145 billion, only a 6.5% drop from the record previous year. The global wind industry defied the economic downturn and saw its annual market grow by 41.5% over 2008, and total global wind power capacity increase by 31.7% to 158 GW at the end of 2009 [Sawyer & Zervos (eds.) 2010]. More grid-connected solar PV capacity was added worldwide than in the boom year of 2008.

14And the economics of renewables will further improve as they develop technically, as the price of fossil fuels continues to rise and as their saving of carbon dioxide emissions is given a monetary value. At the same time there is enormous potential for reducing our consumption of energy, and still continuing to provide the same level of energy services. This study details a series of energy efficiency measures which together can substantially reduce demand across industry, homes, business and services. Against these positive attractions, nuclear energy is a relatively minor industry with major problems. The average age of operating commercial nuclear reactors is 23 years, so more power stations are being shut down than started. In 2008, world nuclear production fell by 2% compared to 2006, and the number of operating reactors as of January 2010 was 436, eight less than at the historical peak of 2002. Although nuclear power produces little carbon dioxide, there are multiple threats to people and the environment from its operations. These include the risks and environmental damage from uranium mining, processing and transport, the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation, the unsolved problem of nuclear waste and the potential hazard of a serious accident. The nuclear option is therefore discounted in this analysis.

2.5 The Energy [R]evolution

15The climate change imperative demands nothing short of an energy revolution, a transformation that has already started as renewable energy markets continue to grow. In the first global edition of the Energy [R]evolution, published in January 2007, we projected a globally installed renewable capacity of 156 GW by 2010. At the end of 2009, 158 GW were installed. More needs to be done, however. At the core of this revolution will be a change in the way that energy is produced, distributed and consumed.

16The five key principles behind this shift will be to:

  • Implement renewable solutions, especially through decentralised energy systems

  • Respect the natural limits of the environment

  • Phase out dirty, unsustainable energy sources

  • Create greater equity in the use of resources

  • Decouple economic growth from the consumption of fossil fuels

17Decentralised energy systems, where power and heat are produced close to the point of final use, will avoid the current waste of energy during conversion and distribution. Investments in ‘climate infrastructure’ such as smart interactive grids, as well as super grids to transport large quantities of offshore wind and concentrating solar power, are essential. Building up clusters of renewable micro grids, especially for people living in remote areas, will be a central tool in providing sustainable electricity to the almost two billion people around the world for whom access to electricity is presently denied.

2.6 Greenhouse development rights

18But although the Energy [R]evolution envisages a clear technological pathway, it is only likely to be turned into reality if its corresponding investment costs are shared fairly under some kind of global climate regime. To demonstrate one such possibility, we have utilised the Greenhouse Development Rights framework, designed by EcoEquity and the Stockholm Environment Institute, as a way of evening up the unequal ability of different countries to respond to the climate crisis in their energy polices.

19The Greenhouse Development Rights (GDR) framework calculates national shares of global greenhouse gas obligations based on a combination of responsibility (contribution to climate change) and capacity (ability to pay). Crucially, GDRs take inequality within countries into account and calculate national obligations on the basis of the estimated capacity and responsibility of individuals. Individuals with incomes below a ‘development threshold’– specified in the default case as $7,500 per capita annual income, PPP adjusted – are exempted from climate-related obligations. Individuals with incomes above that level are expected to contribute to the costs of global climate policy in proportion to their capacity (amount of income over the threshold) and responsibility (cumulative CO 2 emissions).

20The result of these calculations is that rich countries like the United States of America, which are also responsible for a large proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions, will contribute much more towards the costs of implementing global climate policies, such as increasing the proportion of renewables, than a country like India. Based on a ‘Responsibility and Capacity Indicator’, the USA, accounting for 36.8% of the world’s responsibility for climate change, will in turn be responsible for funding 36.3% of the required global emissions reductions.

21The GDR framework therefore represents a good mechanism for helping developing countries to leapfrog into a sustainable energy supply, with the help of industrialised countries, while maintaining economic growth and the need to satisfy their growing energy needs. Greenpeace has taken this concept on board as a means of achieving equity within the climate debate and as a practical solution to kick starting the renewable energy market in developing countries.

2.7 Methodology and assumptions

22Three scenarios up to the year 2050 are outlined in this report: a Reference scenario, an Energy [R]evolution scenario with a target to reduce energy related CO2 emissions by 50% from their 1990 levels and an advanced Energy [R]evolution version which envisages a fall of more than 80% in CO2 by 2050.

23The Reference Scenario is based on the reference scenario in the International Energy Agency’s 2009 World Energy Outlook (WEO 2009) analysis, extrapolated forward from 2030. Compared to the previous (2007) IEA projections, WEO 2009 assumes a slightly lower average annual growth rate of world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 3.1%, instead of 3.6%, over the period 2007-2030. At the same time, it expects final energy consumption in 2030 to be 6% lower than in the WEO 2007 report. China and India are expected to grow faster than other regions, followed by the Other Developing Asia group of countries, Africa and the Transition Economies (mainly the former Soviet Union). The OECD share of global purchasing power parity (PPP) adjusted GDP will decrease from 55% in 2007 to 29% by 2050.

24The Energy [R]evolution Scenario has a key target for the reduction of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions down to a level of around 10 Gigatonnes per year by 2050. A second objective is the global phasing out of nuclear energy. To achieve these goals the scenario is characterised by significant efforts to fully exploit the large potential for energy efficiency. At the same time, all cost-effective renewable energy sources are used for heat and electricity generation, as well as the production of bio fuels. The general framework parameters for population and GDP growth remain unchanged from the Reference scenario.

25The Advanced Energy [R]evolution Scenario takes a much more radical approach to the climate crisis facing the world. In order to pull the emergency brake on global emissions it therefore assumes much shorter technical lifetimes for coal-fired power plants – 20 years instead of 40 years. This reduces global CO2 emissions even faster and takes the latest evidence of greater climate sensitivity into account. To fill the resulting gap, the annual growth rates of renewable energy sources, especially solar photovoltaic, wind and concentrating solar power plants, have therefore been increased. Apart from that, the advanced scenario takes on board all the general framework parameters of population and economic growth from the basic version, as well as most of the energy efficiency roadmap. In the transport sector, however, there is 15 to 20% lower final energy demand until 2050 due to a combination of simply less driving and instead increase use of public transport and a faster uptake of efficient combustion vehicles and – after 2025 – a larger share of electric vehicles. Within the heating sector there is a faster expansion of CHP in the industry sector, more electricity for process heat and a faster growth of solar and geothermal heating systems. Combined with a larger share of electric drives in the transport sector, this results in a higher overall demand for power. Even so, the overall global electricity demand in the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario is still lower than in the Reference scenario. In the advanced scenario the latest market development projections of the renewable industry have been calculated for all sectors.

26The speedier uptake of electric and hydrogen vehicles, combined with the faster implementation of smart grids and expanding super grids (about ten years ahead of the basic version) allows a higher share of fluctuating renewable power generation (photovoltaic and wind). The threshold of a 40% proportion of renewables in global primary energy supply will therefore be passed just after 2030 (also ten years ahead). By contrast, the quantities of biomass and large hydro power remain the same in both Energy [R]evolution scenarios, for sustainability reasons.

2.8 Towards a renewable future

27Today, renewable energy sources account for 13% of the world’s primary energy demand. Biomass, which is mostly used in the heat sector, is the main source. The share of renewable energies for electricity generation is 18%, while their contribution to heat supply is around 24%, to a large extent accounted for by traditional uses such as collected firewood. About 80% of the primary energy supply today still comes from fossil fuels. Both Energy [R]evolution scenarios describe development pathways which turn the present situation into a sustainable energy supply, with the advanced version achieving the urgently needed CO2 reduction target more than a decade earlier than the basic scenario. The following summary shows the results of the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario, which will be achieved through the following measures:

  • Exploitation of existing large energy efficiency potentials will ensure that final energy demand increases only slightly – from the current 305,095 PJ/a (2007) to 340,933 PJ/a in 2050, compared to 531,485 PJ/a in the Reference scenario. This dramatic reduction is a crucial prerequisite for achieving a significant share of renewable energy sources in the overall energy supply system, compensating for the phasing out of nuclear energy and reducing the consumption of fossil fuels.

  • More electric drives are used in the transport sector and hydrogen produced by electrolysis from excess renewable electricity plays a much bigger role in the advanced than in the basic scenario. After 2020, the final energy share of electric vehicles on the road increases to 4% and by 2050 to over 50%. More public transport systems also use electricity, as well as there being a greater shift in transporting freight from road to rail.

  • The increased use of combined heat and power generation (CHP) also improves the supply system’s energy conversion efficiency, increasingly using natural gas and biomass. In the long term, the decreasing demand for heat and the large potential for producing heat directly from renewable energy sources limits the further expansion of CHP.

  • The electricity sector will be the pioneer of renewable energy utilisation. By 2050, around 95% of electricity will be produced from renewable sources. A capacity of 14,045 GW will produce 43,922 TWh/a renewable electricity in 2050. A significant share of the fluctuating power generation from wind and solar photovoltaic will be used to supply electricity to vehicle batteries and produce hydrogen as a secondary fuel in transport and industry. By using load management strategies, excess electricity generation will be reduced and more balancing power made available.

  • In the heat supply sector, the contribution of renewables will increase to 91% by 2050. Fossil fuels will be increasingly replaced by more efficient modern technologies, in particular biomass, solar collectors and geothermal.

  • In the transport sector the existing large efficiency potentials will be exploited by a modal shift from road to rail and by using much lighter and smaller vehicles. As biomass is mainly committed to stationary applications, the production of bio fuels is limited by the availability of sustainable raw materials. Electric vehicles, powered by renewable energy sources, will play an increasingly important role from 2020 onwards.

  • By 2050, 80% of primary energy demand will be covered by renewable energy sources. To achieve an economically attractive growth of renewable energy sources, a balanced and timely mobilisation of all technologies is of great importance. Such mobilisation depends on technical potentials, actual costs, cost reduction potentials and technical maturity. Climate infrastructure, such as district heating systems, smart grids and super grids for renewable power generation, as well as more R & D into storage technologies for electricity are all vital if this scenario is to be turned into reality. The successful implementation of smart grids is vital for the advanced Energy [R]evolution from 2020 onwards. It is also important to highlight that in the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario the majority of remaining coal power plants – which will be replaced 20 years before the end of their technical lifetime – are in China and India. This means that in practice all coal power plants built between 2005 and 2020 will be replaced by renewable energy sources from 2040 onwards. To support the building of capacity in developing countries, significant new public financing, especially from industrialised countries, will be needed. It is vital that specific funding mechanisms such as the “Greenhouse Development Rights” (GDR) and “Feed-in tariff” schemes (see chapter 2) are developed under the international climate negotiations that can assist the transfer of financial support to climate change mitigation, including technology transfer.

2.9 Future costs and Future investements

28Renewable energy will initially cost more to implement than existing fuels. The slightly higher electricity generation costs under the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario will be compensated for, however, by reduced demand for fuels in other sectors such as heating and transport. Assuming average costs of 3 cents/kWh for implementing energy efficiency measures, the additional cost for electricity supply under the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario will amount to a maximum of $31 billion/a in 2020. These additional costs, which represent society’s investment in an environmentally benign, safe and economic energy supply, continue to decrease after 2020. By 2050 the annual costs of electricity supply will be $2,700 billion/a elow those in the Reference scenario.

29It is assumed that average crude oil prices will increase from $97 per barrel in 2008 to $130 per barrel in 2020, and continue to rise to $150 per barrel in 2050. Natural gas import prices are expected to increase by a factor of four between 2008 and 2050, while coal prices will continue to rise, reaching $172 per tonne in 2050. A CO2 ‘price adder’ is applied, which rises from $20 per tonne of CO2 in 2020 to $50 per tonne in 2050.

Future Investment

30It would require $17.9 trillion in global investment until 2030 for the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario to become reality – approximately 60% higher than in the Reference scenario ($11.2 trillion). Under the Reference version, the levels of investment in renewable energy and fossil fuels are almost equal – about $5 trillion each – up to 2030. Under the advanced scenario, however, the world shifts about 80% of investment towards renewables; by 2030 the fossil fuel share of power sector investment would be focused mainly on combined heat and power and efficient gas-fired power plants. The average annual investment in the power sector under the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario between 2007 and 2030 would be approximately $782 billion. Because renewable energy has no fuel costs, however, the fuel cost savings in the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario reach a total of $6.5 trillion, or $282 billion per year until 2030 and a total of $41.5 trillion, or an average of $964 billion per year until 2050.

2.10 Future global employment

31Worldwide, we would see more direct jobs created in the energy sector if we shifted to either of the Energy [R]evolution scenarios.

  • By 2015 global power supply sector jobs in the Energy [R]evolution scenario are estimated to reach about 11.1 million, 3.1 million more than in the Reference scenario. The advanced version will lead to 12.5 million jobs by 2015.

  • By 2020 over 6.5 million jobs in the renewables sector would be created due to a much faster uptake of renewables, three-times more than today. The advanced version will lead to about one million jobs more than the basic Energy [R]evolution, due to a much faster uptake of renewables.

  • By 2030 the Energy [R]evolution scenario achieves about 10.6 million jobs, about two million more than the Reference scenario.

  • Approximately 2 million new jobs are created between 2020 and 2030, twice as much as in the Reference case. The advanced scenario will lead to 12 million jobs, which are 8.5 million in the renewables sector alone. Without this fast growth in the renewable sector global power jobs will be a mere 2.4 million. Thus by implementing the E [R] there will be 3.2 million or over 33% more jobs by 2030 in the global power supply sector.

2.11 Development of CO2 emissions

32While CO2 emissions worldwide will increase by more than 60% under the Reference scenario up to 2050, and are thus far removed from a sustainable development path, under the advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario they will decrease from 28,400 million tonnes in 2007 (including international bunkers) to 3,700 in 2050, 82% below 1990 levels. Annual per capita emissions will drop from 4.1 tonnes/capita to 0.4 t/capita. In spite of the phasing out of nuclear energy and a growing electricity demand, CO2 emissions will decrease enormously in the electricity sector. In the long run efficiency gains and the increased use of renewable electric vehicles, as well as a sharp expansion in public transport, will even reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector. With a share of 42% of total emissions in 2050, the transport sector will reduce significantly but remain the largest source of CO2 emissions – followed by industry and power generation.

2.12 Policy changes

33To make the Energy [R]evolution real and to avoid dangerous climate change, Greenpeace and EREC demand that the following policies and actions are implemented in the energy sector:

  • Phase out all subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

  • Internalise the external (social and environmental) costs of energy production through ‘cap and trade’ emissions trading.

  • Mandate strict efficiency standards for all energy consuming appliances, buildings and vehicles.

  • Establish legally binding targets for renewable energy and combined heat and power generation.

  • Reform the electricity markets by guaranteeing priority access to the grid for renewable power generators.

  • Provide defined and stable returns for investors, for example by feed-in tariff programmes.

  • Implement better labelling and disclosure mechanisms to provide more environmental product information.

  • Increase research and development budgets for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Figure 1: global development of primary energy consumption under the three scenarios (efficiency = reduction compared to the reference scenario)

3 Knowledge gaps and Outlook

34A major challenge within the scenario work is the availability of coherent statistical data, especially for developing countries. Besides that, a different breakdown by sectors e. g. geothermal heat pumps are sometimes under “heating/cooling” and in other scenarios under “power” or regions e. g. OECD Europe and EU-27 makes it difficult to compare scenarios with each other. Large methodology differences in “topdown” and “bottom-up” models can make it even problematic to identify if parameters are assumed or if they are results of the model.

35International standardization of statistical data is needed to get to comprehensive global, regional and national energy scenarios. A global database which can be accessed from all scientific institutions would be very beneficial for scenario modellers. The latest data for technologies – both in terms of the current market and technical details, latest research results for technical potentials as well as current and future cost would make scenarios more coherent and informative for policy makers.

36Last but not least the different regions used e. g. from IEA and IPCC are challenging and a global standardization would help.

37Future Projects: Greenpeace would welcome an international scientific project which would merge “top-down” and “bottom-up” energy models into more detailed energy simulation scenarios which includes weather data of the past decades in order to calculate possible grid expansion and/or storage needs as well as a country-specific breakdown. Scenarios for Megacities would link energy scenarios with regional energy project developments.

38A 200 country scenario with a standard reporting system across all sectors would lead to a more detailed cost calculation and socioeconomic implications. Last but not least the needed resources e. g. steel, copper and rare elements for an entire energy scenario would add a new dimension to this debate.

4 Needed qualifications and competences

39Besides the usual qualifications for scenario development, it would be beneficial for the scenario work to have experts in “real” energy project development and financing. For the needed infrastructure it would be beneficial to have electrical engineers in the team, as well as meteorologists for simulation of fluctuating renewable energy sources. The demand side projection should include as many experts from within the industry (car manufacturer, white goods, etc.) and architecture for the building demand side.

40From my point of view there are the following steps in energy scenario development – for each step experts with practical experiences are needed:

  • Model architecture: to choose the model closest to the “real” energy supply system – in technical terms

  • Financial flows: to include the financial flows based on the current financial systems

  • Political framework: to identify mechanisms to change current energy systems and research interaction between step 1 to 3.

  • Demand side: to include all sectors (power, heating/cooling, transport and industry) detailed knowledge about the efficiency potentials is needed from experts with practical experiences.

  • Supply side: to best reflect the technologies currently available on the market and to get a sense which technology will have a realistic chance to enter a mass market.

  • Infrastructure: to add more information about the needed infrastructure e. g. grid or district heating pipelines in the computer model.

  • Meteorology: to be able to optimise energy technology mixes and potential system conflicts. Detailed meteorology data will clarify potential demand curves and possible generation profiles.

  • Communication. To be able to communicate the results of the scenario to different audiences such as policy maker, investors and the general public.



Rogelj, J, Nabel, J, Chen, C, Hare, W, Markmann, K, Meinshausen, M, Schaeffer, M, Macey, K & Höhne, N 2010, “Copenhagen accord pledges are paltry”, Nature, vol. 464, pp. 1126-1128.

Hare, WL 2009, “A Safe Landing for the Climate”, In State of the World, Worldwatch Institute.

Smith, JB, Schneider, SH, Oppenheimer, M, Yohe, GW, Hare, W, Mastrandrea MD, Patwardhan, A, Burton, I, Corfee-Morlot, J, Magadza, CHD, Füssel, HM, Pittock, AB, Rahman, A, Suarez, A & van Ypersele, JP 2008, “Assessing dangerous climate change through an update of the Intergovernmantal Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “reasons for concern””, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Published online before print February 26, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas. 0812355106 PNAS February 26, 2009.

Sawyer, S & Zervos, A (eds.) 2010, Global Wind 2009 Report, GWEC, March 2010.

Table des illustrations

Légende Figure 1: global development of primary energy consumption under the three scenarios (efficiency = reduction compared to the reference scenario)
Fichier image/jpeg, 95k


Renewable Energy Director, Greenpeace International, Große Elbstrasse 39, 22767 Hamburg, Germany, E-mail:, Phone: +49 - 171-87 87 552


Open access