Title: Comparison of Long-term World Energy Studies
Publisher: OPOCE
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC36387
ISBN: 978-92-79-07078-5
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 22938 EN
URI: http://www.jrc.es/publications/pub.cfm?id=1506
DOI: 10.2791/19003
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The POLES (Prospective Outlook for the Long-term Energy System) model is a global sectoral simulation model for the development of long-term energy supply and demand scenarios until 2050. The model is used to calculate global energy scenarios, such as the World Energy, Technology and Climate Policy Outlook (WETO) and the WETO-H2 update. In addition, dedicated greenhouse gas emission reduction scenarios are increasingly produced to support the assessment of climate change policies and measures. For both purposes it is crucial that the baseline scenario calculated with the POLES model provides a consistent and reliable outlook. A comparison with the outcomes of global reference energy projections from other sources provides a sensible first step in "benchmarking" the model outcomes. In a second step, the sensitivity of the model results in key input parameters being analysed (but is outside the scope of this paper). The following comparison of the POLES reference scenario (WETO-H2 reference case, 2006) with scenarios produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA reference scenario, 2006), the U.S. Department of Energy (US-DoE reference case, 2006) and the World Energy Council (WEC-A2 scenario, 1998) indicates an overall high concordance among all scenarios. With regard to the most important basic input assumptions, very similar values for population trends are observed, particularly for the more recent studies from WETO, IEA and US-DoE. Assumptions regarding GDP growth are close for WETO and IEA, while the US-DoE study assumes a higher increase of GDP particularly for the decade 2020 to 2030. The projected oil price, however, differs more between the studies, with the three more recent projections (WETO, US-DoE, IEA) showing substantially higher prices than the WEC. This may be the result of these recent studies better reflecting the recent increase. The resulting projections of world energy consumption and CO2 emissions reflect the similarities and differences between the key assumptions well. Both indicators are well in line for the WETO, IEA and WEC studies, with slightly elevated values for the US-DoE study. However, this resemblance in the totals of energy consumption and CO2 emission hides more important differences in the projections for individual energy sources. With respect to the development of different fuels, projections for oil are very similar, but differ for coal and gas demand, mainly driven by differences in the fuel mix used for electricity generation. The US-DoE study projects significantly higher coal consumption throughout the scenario period until 2030 than the other studies. In the WETO study, the lower consumption of coal will be compensated mainly by the higher consumption of natural gas in the decade 2010 to 2020, and nuclear energy in the decade 2020 to 2030. As a result, the WETO study shows the highest consumption of natural gas in 2010 and 2020 (falling back to an average level in 2030) and has the most pronounced nuclear electricity production in 2030. The projections for hydro electricity and biomass are quite similar for WETO and IEA, with the latter showing slightly higher values. Although high growth rates for other renewables are assumed in all scenarios, the contribution of other renewables to overall world energy consumption remains on a low level, even in the most favourable case (WETO). In terms of renewables contribution to electricity generation, the three more recent studies are particularly well in line. In conclusion, the comparison demonstrates that the key assumptions used in WETO (here: the WETO-H2 reference case modelled with POLES) as well as the projections on total energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions are well in line with those of other reliable global energy studies, with important differences occurring mainly for the future development of nuclear power.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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