Accepted paper:

Review of long-term energy planning in Ireland, UK and Denmark

Authors:

Celine Bout (DTU- Technical University of Denmark)
Kristian Borch (Technical University of Denmark)

Paper short abstract:

This paper reflects on the elements that energy specialists have identified for Denmark, Ireland and UK as keys towards the achievement of 2020 or 2050 targets, but also on the elements they do not mention, and through this analysis contributes to a critical reflection on quantitative scenario work.

Paper long abstract:

In 2009, through the Renewable Energy Directive, the EU committed to increase the share of energy needs met by renewables to 20% by 2020. This goal is to be achieved through national legally-binding targets, informed by scenarios presented in National Renewable Energy Action Plans. In parallel, a substantial research has been dedicated to studying scenarios likely to ensure achievement of the targets, and beyond to 2050. Most of these scenarios are model-based, an approach that affords the possibility of assessing technical and economic feasibility, and has become an integral part of energy scenario planning.

Energy data are inevitably tied to social behaviours and political orders(Hughes & Strachan, 2010), energy models however are pure quantitative tools. A well-known distance thus exists between the quantitative making of a scenario and its qualitative origin and purpose (Alcamo, 2008; Grunwald, 2011), and consequently between positivistic and constructivist paradigms.

This paper examines the quantitative energy scenario modelling undertaken since 2009 for Denmark, Ireland and UK, the European countries with the highest amounts of wind, resulting in significant developments of their wind sectors over the past three decades. Following a systematic review of the field, this research reflects on the elements that energy specialists have identified as keys towards the achievement of the targets, but also on the elements they do not mention, and through this analysis contributes to a critical reflection on quantitative scenario work. Covering Denmark, Ireland and UK creates a comparative output of each country's approach towards energy scenario planning and wind development.

panel T078
Contested energy futures and temporalities in retrospective: instruments and practices of forecasting and scenario work