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Energy to 2050, Scenarios for a Sustainable Future, 2003

Energy to 2050, Scenarios for a Sustainable Future, 2003

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Published by: i-people on Mar 28, 2008
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World Marketsis a scenario characterised by emphasis on private
consumption and highly developed and integrated world trading systems.
Consumption levels and mobility are high while sustainable development
goals are marginalized, being regarded as international political concerns.
Similarly concern for inequality and social exclusion is weak, while social
tensions are on the rise. The role of governments in economic
management, regulation of utilities and energy markets is kept to a
minimum and provision of public service is reduced in order to keep taxes
low. Large firms dominate global markets. The economic structure moves
towards the service industry, while traditional manufacturing migrates
towards the developing world. Global standards and best practices for
technologies emerge and are quickly adopted in many sectors. Fossil fuels,
particularly natural gas dominate the energy markets and, due to the
decline of traditional oil production, by 2020 exploitation of non-
conventional oil and tar sands begins. Fuel demand for transport keeps

194

Appendix I: Scenarios from the Literature Reviewed

195

Appendix I: Scenarios from the Literature Reviewed

increasing. Electric power demand grows, and new investments are
generally in modular distributed power systems. Low energy prices
discourage conservation and energy efficiency except on an economic
efficiency basis. Renewable energy sources do not take off and the revival
of nuclear power does not materialise due to their costs. Households get
smaller but dwellings get larger and equipped with more appliances as
incomes grow. Mobility of the workforce increases. Gated communities
develop to insulate the wealthy from the disadvantaged (UKDTI, 2000).

Provincial Enterpriseis a world of consumerist values emphasising the
short term, coupled with policymaking systems that assert national and
regional concerns and priorities. Market values remain dominant but
markets are mostly national or regional due to protectionism. Sustainability
as a political objective nearly disappears. Growth is sluggish in the UK
(1.5% per year) but stronger globally (4% per year). Constraints to growth
include capital and resource shortages. Fossil fuel supply is plentiful and
there is a tendency to preserve or protect national fuel resources. Energy
prices are for this reason higher than in the previous scenario. However
energy efficiency is limited, due to lack of capital and low environmental
priorities. Renewables do not develop. The high cost of housing counters
the trend towards smaller households; and lower incomes discourage
ownership and excessive use of appliances (UKDTI, 2000).

Global Sustainabilityis a world in which social and environmental values
are taken into account in economic decisions, and in which environmental
problems are dealt with through strong collective action and global
institutions. There is greater co-operation between national and
international levels of governance; global economic, social and
environmental agreements are negotiated providing a framework for
global trade consistent with international equity and sustainable
development goals. Access to education is widespread. Working hours
decline and the labour force is highly mobile. Global markets for training,
education and tourism decrease cultural distances. The greening of
business is pervasive with adoption of best available technologies. Some
developing countries experience high growth rates, helped by high
investment levels and low interest rates worldwide. Household formation
is reduced due to more collectivist values and controls on new housing
development. Dwelling size grows less than could be expected and
construction codes stress high efficiency and environmental performance.
Similarly the number and range of appliances in homes grows but energy
consumption is limited by high efficiency standards. Reductions in
residential energy use are limited, despite the diffusion of green attitudes

196

Appendix I: Scenarios from the Literature Reviewed

among consumers. Natural gas is the dominant energy source until 2010,
but afterwards renewables gain a large market share. Zero-emission fossil
fuel options such as large-scale carbon sequestration begin to play a major
role in the UK after 2010. Solar power takes up a large market share after
2020. Nuclear power sees a revival and hydrogen becomes a significant
energy carrier by 2030, following construction of production, storage and
distribution infrastructure. Gas micro-turbines and fuel cells for small
domestic generation are popular and lead the way to later use of
hydrogen. Diffusion of distributed generation fosters development of
innovative technologies for the control, transmission and storage of power.
Energy suppliers move towards the provision of integrated services,
enhancing the uptake of energy-efficient measures. Energy prices to the
final consumer, however, are high due to the large investment in expensive
new technology (UKDTI, 2000).

Local Stewardshipis a world where strong national and regional
governance allows social and ecological values to play an important role
in the development of markets and behaviour. Political systems are
transparent, participatory and inclusive at a more local level, with
extensive provision of public services such as health and education. Local
cultural identities are revived as are family values. The flow of culture,
people, capital and goods across economic and political boundaries
however is constrained, and international economic and political
institutions are mistrusted except for mediation between countries.
Households get larger and life in small communities is preferred to life in
large cities, but the need to preserve agricultural land leads to more
compact urban development, with small houses. Consumers are oriented
towards a green purchasing etiquette and utilities emphasise sustainability
and service provision. Household consumption declines slightly and total
domestic energy consumption falls by 1.5% per year. Concerning fuels the
emphasis is on local energy sources, whether fossil or non-fossil. A wide
range of renewable technologies is exploited but energy production is
small scale. Combined heat and power production flourishes. Coal is used
but under strict environmental controls. Small scale nuclear becomes
acceptable on grounds of self-reliance. Green pricing is widely practised
and favoured by consumers, while high-energy prices lead to large-scale
adoption of efficiency measures. Overall energy demand falls and becomes
less carbon intensive (UKDTI, 2000).

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