World Energy Scenarios 2019: Exploring Innovation Pathways to 2040

Sept. 23, 2019

WORLD ENERGY SCENARIOS | 2019: EXPLORING INNOVATION PATHWAYS TO 2040

The world of energy is being reshaped by a set of fundamental drivers, which we term the “Grand Transition”. These drivers provide the broader context for determining global energy pathways to 2040.

Since the World Energy Council last published its World Energy Scenarios in 2016, we have experienced three years of comparatively high, carbon-centric energy demand and a marked acceleration in renewable energy developments. A new pattern of geostrategic competition is emerging that is further straining the multilateral system and impacting global trade.

What has changed most, however, is the speed and volatility of changes and unevenness of impacts. Fragmentation and polarisation of leadership and poor economic returns limiting the license to invest for market players are emerging as some of the biggest risks in managing successful energy transition.

Meanwhile, energy leaders are also challenged to make sense of the fast-shifting landscape of innovation and the new spirit of entrepreneurialism in energy. A fresh focus on energy systems innovation and the emerging phenomenon of “disruption-as-usual” is both timely and relevant to energy transition leaders within and beyond the energy sector.

The report, “Exploring Innovation Pathways to 2040,” presents three global storylines to 2040, with supporting systems thinking maps, comparative analysis and regional summaries. It includes a discussion of new insights, reflecting deeper shifts in the energy system innovation landscape, and provides a broader view on “how to use” the scenarios.