Exploring Energy Transition Pathways in Times of Uncertainty

Strategic planning for a sustainable energy transition is characterized by a high degree of uncertainty due to the possibility of potential disruptive events, as well as, the strongly changing political, societal and technological conditions.

Balancing the World Energy Trilemma is at the heart of a successful energy transition. This necessitates a continuous alignment of its three dimensions to the recent disruptive events. Our energy systems need to be adapted in the wake of the recent shocks. Today’s crisis has multiple dimensions that introduce huge turbulences in the energy markets, resulting in high inflation and economic damage. The current crisis has brought to the surface new drivers that will change the whole future energy landscape. This indeed imposes a great challenge, where urgent short-term decisions must be taken in an environment characterized by high complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity.

Energy leaders and decision makers shall better prepare for the social, economic, technological, environmental and political dimensions of disruptive changes in the energy market. Such disruptions may vary in terms of the spatial scale at which they take effect, and may be difficult to be anticipated. This requires considering a larger portfolio of foresight scenarios, as well as, bridging the disconnects within our energy systems.

It is time for scanning business and societal landscapes for “early warning” signals to identify all the potential disruptions and scenarios. We can then integrate such storylines into energy system models and have holistic narratives. Energy planning models are crucial to analyze energy transition pathways and understand their impacts. Such approach can help us gain insights into possible transformation pathways, their drivers and long-term consequences.

However, there is no “one size fits all” solution. Each region shall explore diverse pathways and all possible future energy systems to accelerate a sustainable energy transition, ensuring the benefit of all: people and planet.

The direction and pace of the energy transition depends on our proactive steps today. Join us in Rotterdam at the 26th World Energy Congress and let us explore together with a global community of energy leaders and policy makers, diverse transformation scenarios and pathways for an ever-changing and unpredictable future. 

Haidy Eissa 

Future Energy Leader, World Energy Council

Senior I&C Engineer, ENPPI