The energy transition is nothing new, but the challenges of managing a successful and global energy transition are unprecedented. Energy systems are changing fast, shaped by many factors and more diverse actors.
In the drive to impact, members of the Council have developed five transition tools to help them to define, better manage and collaborate effectively on successful energy transitions. The User Guide reflects and supports an ongoing exchange of best practices across the global community network of the Council. It provides a description of each tool and includes suggestions of how each tool can be used. The users of the Council's Energy Transition Toolkit include other international organisations, governments, businesses, cities, and local communities and combinations of these. The application of the tools – which can be used individually or in combination – enables the development of new, timely and actionable insights. Specific uses include making sense of broad and fast-moving issues- and innovation- landscapes, stress testing business models, informing national risks assessments, supporting integrated policy pathfinding and translating new energy visions into reality.
The flexibility of the toolkit recognises there are different starting points and no 'one size fits all' approach to a successful transition. As such, the tools can be used to support interventions on a global, regional, national, sectoral, and/or cross-sectoral basis.
The five tools are:
- Issues Monitor Index - this reality check tool is now in its 10th year. It comprises an annual horizon scan of 42 individual issues and maps perspectives on key challenges. The tool can be used to provide insightful and clarifying visualisations of the complex realities of multi-dimensional energy transitions. A series of informative contrastable maps – global, regional, national and topical cluster maps –are produced, based on the survey of thousands of energy leaders across all regions and sectors. This unique tool is grounded in the perspectives of energy leaders across the world and whole energy systems. Member Committee commentaries explaining the national maps offer rich insights on the variation of drivers and priorities in the energy transition. A supporting online tool enables users the flexibility to develop their own maps.
- Scenarios - the Council has been developing World Energy Scenarios since 2008. Scenarios are useful tools for decision making under deep and unpredictable uncertainty. Using scenarios promotes bigger picture thinking and enables leaders to reveal deeply held assumptions, as well as identify new and better choices and options. The User Guide includes descriptions of the three current scenarios archetypes – Modern Jazz, Hard Rock and Unfinished Symphony – which its global member network has validated as plausible, relevant and challenging. Scenario leads us to confider not what energy future we prefer but how to translate new energy visions into reality in a context of unpredictable uncertainty. The Council's scenario building can be focussed on different time horizons, geographies and themes. The Council also developed methods for effectively using its scenarios in the drive to impact.
- Energy Trilemma Index - this integrated policy pathfinding tool enables attention to the synergies and options for delivering co-benefits in managing energy-security, -sustainability and -equity. The annual assessment produced a series of global, regional and national scores which enable users to learn from leading performers and best practices.
- Dynamic Resilience - this new framework has been developed to support preparedness for new shocks and stressors that are inherent in ignoring or accelerating energy transition – including more frequent and extreme weather and cyber risks arising from increasing digitisation.
- Innovation Insights - the Council recognises that innovation is key to a successful energy transition. It also promotes a broader concept of whole systems innovation which is not only about new and converging technologies, such as the digital revolution, and includes the role of incumbents, regulators new starts-ups. The current series of innovation insights briefs cover – energy blockchain, storage pathways, looking beyond basic to quality energy access, the new hydrogen economy and rethinking infrastructure economics. Innovation themes are continuously refreshed through feedback from the Council's global member network and community and the use of its other tools.
The Toolkit User Guide is available for anyone interested in playing their part in shaping and navigating a successful energy transition that lays the foundations for a new era of energy for prosperity.
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DISCLAIMER: Except for the headline and minor editing, this write-up has been published from 'The 24th World Energy Congress Preview'. Devdiscourse is Media Partner of World Road Congress 2019 being organized in Abu Dhabi on 9-12 September 2019.