The European region1 comprises over 30 national energy systems, including some of the world’s largest importer-exporter nations. There is increasing diversity in the overall energy mix, which includes community/district and industrial heating; centralised and decentralised electricity grids; hydrocarbon molecules; and renewable, hydro and nuclear power generation. Compared with other regions, the European region is also well endowed with both new and ageing national and cross-border energy infrastructures.
Whilst the future of energy cannot be predicted with any degree of precision, managing successful energy transitions necessitates a bigger-picture perspective.
The exploratory scenarios contained in this report describe three plausible alternative pathways for European regional energy systems. None of the scenarios is the preferred or most likely future. Instead, the set of scenarios can be used by energy leaders to engage constructively with uncertainty and to better prepare for emerging systemic risks and new opportunities. [...]