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Scenarios_and_Projections publications: Scenarios and Projections

World Energy Outlook

New Policies Scenario: A scenario in the World Energy Outlook that takes account of broad policy commitments and plans that have been announced by countries, including national pledges to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and plans to phase out fossil-energy subsidies, even if the measures to implement these commitments have yet to be identified or announced. This broadly serves as the IEA baseline scenario.

450 Scenario: A scenario presented in the World Energy Outlook that sets out an energy pathway consistent with the goal of limiting the global increase in temperature to 2°C by limiting concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to around 450 parts per million of CO2.

- Efficient World Scenario: A scenario in the World Energy Outlook 2012 that presents the potential energy savings if countries adopt current and proven technologies to improve energy efficiency.

- Deferred Investment Case: A scenario created in World Energy Outlook 2011 to analyse how global markets might evolve if investment in the upstream industry in Middle East and North Africa countries were to fall short of that required in the New Policies Scenario over the next few years.

- Energy for All Case: A scenario in the World Energy Outlook 2011 that estimates the additional investment required to meeting the goal of achieving universal modern energy access by 2030, as proposed by the UN Secretary General (previously called the Universal Modern Energy Access Case).

- Low Nuclear Case: A scenario created in World Energy Outlook 2011 to examine the implications for global energy balances of a much smaller role of nuclear power than that projected in any of the three scenarios presented in the WEO-2011.

Current Policies Scenario: A scenario in the World Energy Outlook 2010 that assumes no changes in policies from the mid-point of the year of publication (previously called the Reference Scenario).



Energy Technology Perspectives

- The 6°C Scenario (6DS) is largely an extension of current trends. By 2050, energy use almost doubles (compared with 2009) and total GHG emissions rise even more. In the absence of efforts to stabilise atmospheric concentrations of GHGs, average global temperature rise is projected to be at least 6°C in the long term. The 6DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook Current Policy Scenario through 2035.

- The 4°C Scenario (4DS) takes into account recent pledges made by countries to limit emissions and step up efforts to improve energy efficiency. It serves as the primary benchmark in ETP 2012 when comparisons are made between scenarios. Projecting a long-term temperature rise of 4°C, the 4DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook New Policies Scenario through 2035 (IEA, 2011). In many respects, this is already an ambitious scenario that requires significant changes in policy and technologies. Moreover, capping the temperature increase at 4°C requires significant additional cuts in emissions in the period after 2050.

- The 2°C Scenario (2DS) is the focus of ETP 2012. The 2DS describes an energy system consistent with an emissions trajectory that recent climate science research indicates would give an 80% chance of limiting average global temperature increase to 2°C. It sets the target of cutting energy-related CO2 emissions by more than half in 2050 (compared with 2009) and ensuring that they continue to fall thereafter. Importantly, the 2DS acknowledges that transforming the energy sector is vital, but not the sole solution: the goal can only be achieved provided that CO2 and GHG emissions in non-energy sectors are also reduced. The 2DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook 450 Scenario through 2035.


Other Scenarios

BLUE Map Scenario: This IEA scenario is target-oriented: it sets the goal of halving global energy-related CO2 emissions by 2050 (compared to 2005 levels) and examines the least-cost means of achieving that goal through the deployment of existing and new low-carbon technologies.


Medium-term reports

In 2012 the existing Medium-Term IEA market reports were expanded into a unified series covering the four main primary energy sources: oilcoalgas and renewables. In 2013 they will also include a report on energy efficiency.

The series aims to contribute to market transparency through a comprehensive analysis of the recent trends and future prospects in terms of global demand, supply, processing and trade for oil, coal and gas as well as analysing the current drivers and barriers influencing deployment of renewable energy worldwide. The current series examines planned investment in new capacity and infrastructure, highlighting potential market pressures for the 2013-2018 period. Trends in price formation and inter-fuel substitution potential are also covered.

Each publication provides an outlook for the next five years.


For more information on these scenarios, refer to Energy Technology Perspectives and the World Energy Outlook.