picture of a Future energy scenario

Future development of the energy system: Still an open question … (Source: World Energy Council)

The future design of the global energy system is still an open question. Based on forecasts of population, GDP and lifestyle developments an increasing future energy demand is predicted. The current supply system is likely not to be able to keep pace to rising demand – especially against the background of out-fading nuclear and fossil power. How the remaining gap will be managed and what kind of technologies will participate and up to what extent, is subject of several long-term energy studies like the ETM (EUROfusion TIMES Model) scenarios. Global economic and population development will influence our energy system as well as climate change issues, resource depletion, technological development, demand development or political commitments. Since we do not have perfect knowledge about these future developments the scope of models and scenarios is to show correlations between assumptions on the global future development and an optimal energy system development assigned to them.

Therefore three different storylines are distinguished how the global future development could look like:

Storyline Description

HARMONY

A world of strong environmental responsibility (low elasticity of energy service demands to their drivers). Operators take a long-term view when deciding their investments (low technology specific hurdle rates (HR)). A very stringent global carbon emissions (CO2) target is agreed and different world regions cooperate.

PATERNALISM

A world of mixed environmental responsibility (regionally differentiated elasticity of energy service demands to their drivers). Operators take a medium-term view when deciding their investments (medium HR). A very stringent global carbon emissions (CO2) target is agreed and different world regions cooperate.

FRAGMENTATION

A world of weak environmental responsibility (high elasticity of energy service demands to their drivers). Operators take a short-term view when deciding their investments (high HR). A range of regional partial agreements on carbon emission (CO2) targets  and (geo)politically constrained energy trade exist.

Individual ETM scenarios are describing developments assigned to one of the outlined storylines. The exploration how fusion power will – among other future technologies – develop under thevarying assumptions and circumstances in the different storylines is the scope of the ETM scenarios.