Energy Scenarios


Following the development of the GRIP greenhouse gas inventory, the second part of the Greenhouse gas Regional Inventory Protocol is the scenario process. The Scenario process is based around the GRIP Scenario Tool.

Scenarios come in various guises and have been applied in a broad range of sectors including academia, business, industry and government. Their purpose is to provide an insight into how the future might unfold. These insights can be used to aid and inform strategic decisions taken in the present.

Climate impact Scenarios have been undertaken for California and these have shown that it can expect to see average annual temperatures to warm significantly by 2100. With these increases varying between 3o to 10o farenheit .These scenarios, conducted by scientists at the world renowned National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), show that we can expect to see warming during this period that will effect the way in which people live.

In order to prevent these changes from occurring we must mitigate our emissions globally. This includes emissions in cities around the world. Scenarios that consider how these energy emissions maybe reduced is the focus of the second part of GRIP. Furthermore, climate change may have an impact on energy consumption.

A socio-economic scenario is not a single static vision of the future, but rather a logical sequence of images that make up the future. Kahn and Weiner defined scenarios as: “...hypothetical sequences of events, constructed for the purpose of focusing attention on causal processes and decision points” [5]. A scenario is not a prediction of how the future will unfold but rather a picture of how it may unfold [6] Furthermore, while the degree of uncertainty associated with a scenario may be of particular interest to policy- makers, scenarios do not allow for the production of a sensible, quantifiable level of uncertainty, quite simply, because we do not have statistics of the future to make such assumptions. Although “experts” may ascribe their own belief of probability to the scenario.

The use of scenarios at the city/regional scale can enable the development of individually-tailored, specific plans and policies that will meet the requirements of local, regional, state and federal government, and promote the consideration of the wider global community within such plans [7,8] With this in mind, more targeted approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to anticipated climate change can be taken locally, ones that recognise regional characteristics and come with an understanding of current physical, social and economic issues.

What is the GRIP Scenario Process?

The Greenhouse Gas Regional Inventory Protocol scenario process is entirely stakeholder led. The process uses a scenario tool that is manipulated by the stakeholders to form CO2 emissions orientated energy scenarios for a given area, in this case the

The only constraints on the scenario exercise are the purpose of the scenario and the participants own imagination. The scenario tool and its application enables a scenario exercise to bridge the gap between a qualitative storyline that an individual (holds) or group derives. These storylines allow for the pinpointing of quantifiable variables in terms of energy demand and supply and the emissions associated with that storyline. In so doing, a detailed perspective of social, economic, and wider environmental issues can be gained and included within the scenarios.

The “GRIP Scenario Tool” or perhaps more aptly, ‘decision aid’, therefore allows an individual or group of participants to explore the impact of potential greenhouse gas mitigation measures on the total CO2 emissions of the area under study. Within the scenario process undertaken using GRIP, the stakeholders are free to explore different energy options, revise their views, and perceptions of the future, or even drop the goal of the 80% reduction if they feel so inclined.

With the GRIP scenario tool, there lies the potential to produce a number of scenarios in an organic, iterative and exploratory manner. The scenarios produced may evolve as the participating stakeholders knowledge, beliefs and attitudes change.