What is the purpose of the scenarios and how should they be used?
As outlined in Regulation (EU) 347/2013, ENTSOG and ENTSO-E are required to use scenarios as the basis for the official Ten-Year Network Development Plans (created every two years by ENTSOG and ENTSO-E) and for the calculation of the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) used to determine EU funding for electricity and gas infrastructure Projects of Common Interest (PCI). The scenarios are designed specifically for this purpose. Where possible, they have been derived from official EU and Member-State data sources and are intended to provide a quantitative basis for infrastructure investment planning.
The scenarios are intended to project the long-term energy demand and supply for the drafting of ENTSOG’s and ENTSO-E’s Ten-Year Network Development Plans within the context of the ongoing energy transition. They are designed in such a way that they specifically explore those uncertainties which are relevant for gas and electricity infrastructure development.
As such, they primarily focus on aspects which determine the infrastructure utilisation. Furthermore, the scenarios draw extensively on the current European political and economic consensus and attempt to follow a logical trajectory to achieve future energy and climate targets.
The scenarios should provide the user with insights into the possible energy system of the future and the role of electricity and gaseous carriers in this energy system as well as the effects of changes in supply and demand on the energy system. The European and global perspectives of these scenarios enable the user to track supply and demand developments geographically as well as temporally and to gain greater insight into the challenges energy infrastructure planning is facing during the energy transition.
What is not the purpose of the scenarios?
ENTSOG and ENTSO-E have gone to great lengths to build on previous Scenario Reports and to increase its ambitions, especially in considering external factors such as the energy transition and the impacts of decarbonisation of the European energy system on energy infrastructure. Nonetheless, it is important to recognise that the scope of these scenarios remains focused on providing sufficient input data to investigate future infrastructure needs.
ENTSOG and ENTSO-E have sought to avoid making political statements with these scenarios and, as far as possible, to anchor key parameters in widely accepted data and assumptions. The National Trends scenario exists within an input framework provided by official data sets (such as PRIMES) and official energy and climate policies from the EU Member States (the NECPs, hydrogen strategies, etc.). The goal of ENTSOG and ENTSO-E has been to maintain a neutral perspective to these inputs.
While the COP21-compliant scenarios (Global Ambition and Distributed Energy) have greater room for innovation to meet more ambitious decarbonisation of the energy system up to 2050. Energy policy involves political institutions, it is not the intention of ENTSOG and ENTSO-E to use these scenarios to promote one political agenda over another. The main focus of the TYNDP Scenario Report is the long-term development of energy infrastructure. As such, the differences between the two COP21 compliant scenarios are predominantly related to possible variations in demand and supply patterns.
To this end, all the scenarios in the TYNDP 2022 Scenario Report remain technology and energy-carrier neutral. The energy mix deployed in each of these scenarios has been designed to reflect a broad consensus within the energy industry and correlates to a large extent with official literature – most prominently with the EU’s own Impact Assessment scenarios.
The TYNDP 2022 Scenario Report attempts to reflect the energy transition and the decarbonisation efforts of the European energy system in its scenarios. This is incorporated by the use of the COP21 Agreement (in the form of a carbon budget calculation) as one of the key input parameters for the COP21-compliant scenarios. However, it is important to recognize that it is beyond the scope (and indeed the resources) of the scenarios to analyse political, environmental, and societal developments on the widest scale.
Above all it is important to recognise the fast-moving nature of the energy transition in Europe. ENTSOG and ENTSO-E are aware that some of the input parameters used in the creation of these scenarios may well need to be adjusted in the months and years to come as the energy policy of the EU and its Member States evolves to meet the challenges of climate change. The TYNDP Scenario Building Process is an iterative process, and it continues to evolve based on external influences. A scenario is a picture of a possible future under certain defined circumstances, not a forecast of what the future will look like. Simultaneously, it reflects present knowledge and the expected challenges already foreseen today.