Achieving a Sustainable Global Energy System

Achieving a Sustainable Global Energy System

Identifying Possibilities Using Long-Term Energy Scenarios

ESRI Studies Series on the Environment

Leo Schrattenholzer, Asami Miketa, Keywan Riahi and Richard Alexander Roehrl

Sustainable development and global climate change have figured prominently in scientific analysis and international policymaking since the early 1990s. This book formulates technology strategies that will lead to environmentally sustainable energy systems, based on an analysis of global climate change issues using the concept of sustainable development. The authors focus on environmentally compatible, long-term technology developments within the global energy system, while also considering aspects of economic and social sustainability.

Chapter 5: A sustainable-development scenario in detail

Leo Schrattenholzer, Asami Miketa, Keywan Riahi and Richard Alexander Roehrl

Subjects: economics and finance, energy economics, environmental economics, environment, asian environment, environmental economics

Extract

In this chapter, we describe one sustainable-development (SD) scenario in detail. The purpose of this description is to provide the readers with a basis for a more detailed judgmental assessment of the scenario and its determining assumptions. We will present these from a policy perspective; that is, we emphasize the description of those parameters and variables that appear particularly interesting for policy making. These include overall and per capita economic growth as well as technological progress. Of these, technological progress is the one that is the focus of our modelling and assumed to be influenced by policy making. In our interpretation, policy making aimed at the support of appropriate technologies can help pave the way for sustainable development. As a means of emphasizing salient features of the SD scenario described in detail in this chapter, we contrast them with assumptions that lead to a nonsustainable scenario in a similar ‘world’; that is, in a world in which the key boundary conditions are by and large the same and just the policies are different. To emphasize the policy orientation, we illustrate how different policies contribute to the different developments of the scenarios. The assumed policies differ with respect to the direction of technological innovations. Two different sets of assumptions regarding different policy options lead once to an ‘oil and gas’-rich future (OG), and once to a ‘post-fossil fuel’ future (PF).1 The latter turns out to be an SD scenario. To express this policy...

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