Low-carbon energy scenarios 2050 in north-west European countries: Towards a more harmonised approach to achieve the EU targets
This paper proposes an approach to comparing and assessing the policy settings in the European low-carbon energy scenarios. First, it presents the methodology including ten characteristics for scenario assessment: modelling framework (diversity), ambitiousness of the targets 2050, relations with other (European) countries, stakeholder involvement, technology options, non-technological aspects, economic component, usage of scenarios in policy design, intermediate indicators of targets' achievement and revision of scenarios. Further, it uses qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate energy scenarios developed in six north-west European countries (the Netherlands, Germany, France, Denmark, the UK, Belgium). Finally, conclusions are made concerning the possible ways of scenario design improvement. The analysis has shown that all selected countries have potential for modifying their energy scenarios, which being implemented may help to achieve the joint European targets 2050. Since these countries are socially and economically interrelated, a more harmonised approach to scenario development is needed to be designed and introduced on the EU level. Ten characteristics proposed in this study may serve as an initial input for such harmonisation. The results can be of interest to economists, business and academic representatives, and especially policy makers involved in the long-term energy scenario development on the international, regional and national level.