The clean energy transition – particularly one that limits temperature rise to 1.5°C – presents an unprecedented challenge for decision makers. It will require a rapid transition to significantly more low-cost renewables, smarter and more ﬂexible power grids, energy storage, and increased numbers of electric vehicles, sustainable buildings industries and other systems running on electricity. At the same time, digitalisation and decentralisation have started to change electricity markets, consumer behaviour and business models. Long-term energy planning, consequently, must evolve to grapple with such technology, market and policy changes and uncertainties.
As the ambitious shift proceeds, various long-term energy scenarios (LTES) – generally defined as covering the next 20-40 years – are a critical planning tool to assess and compare the cost-effectiveness of different transition pathways. LTES can trigger productive policy debates and help to shape long-term visions for the energy future. Such scenarios also form the basis of national long-term energy plans (referred differently depending on the jurisdictions, e.g., master plans, integrated energy plans or integrated resource plans) and in national climate documents such as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Long-term Low Emission Development Strategies (LTS). By exploring socio-technical pathways over 20+ years, national energy plans and planning that are rooted in LTES can help governments and other stakeholders to prepare in advance for key interventions, to recognise shorter-term challenges and opportunities, and make well-informed investment decisions.
The meeting aimed to bring together IRENA Members and other key stakeholders to showcase effective approaches and strategies in the planning of energy systems with a high share of renewable energies and discuss challenges that countries face in doing so.
The meeting provided a platform for an exchange of experiences and best practices regarding the development and use of LTES and innovative scenario planning approaches. The meeting facilitated exchange of experiences in planning among practitioners and policy makers, as we are still in the learning process. IRENA – and energy planners and researchers – can help improve the exchange of information in these key areas, and thus to accelerate a cost-effective power sector transition to renewable energy.
Meeting participation by invitation only.
For more information please contact CFHighsharesRE@irena.org