How will energy supply develop in the EU in the future?


Researchers at Oeko-Institut have taken part in international discussions on model calculations.
Soon the European Union will present scenarios for the transition to a competitive low-carbon economy. The development of the future energy supply is key to these scenarios. Already in the run-up, there is palpable anxiety about possible price increases. Such price increases and other important drivers of a low-carbon economy are analysed using quantitative energy economy models. These models aim to show some or all segments of a national economy and describe the interdependent impacts on the markets which arise as a reaction to the climate protection scenarios. This enables the costs and benefits for a re-design of the energy system to be estimated.

Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model

From 7.-9.11.2011 the most significant modelling teams from the fields of research, policy, and consultancy gathered at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) within the framework of the Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) established at Stanford University in the USA. The Energy Modeling Forum is one of the most prestigious international research forums of its kind. For more than 30 years it has been addressing energy economic and environmental economic questions and the strengths, limits and challenges of analytical instruments and their comparability. The results of the forum are published in high-quality international journals.

Oeko-Institut researchers Katja Schumacher and Hannah Förster took part in this year‘s meeting and introduced the energy economic Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model, which was developed with Ron Sands from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and preliminary estimates generated using the model.

Scenarios of future development

At this year’s modelling meeting, the results of model analyses of different climate protection scenarios (e.g. the 2°C target set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) were compared. These scenarios describe a number of conceivable future developments and range from a worst case scenario in which no activities are undertaken for a greener future, via a business-as-usual scenario, to a best case scenario in which renewable energies play a crucial role. All scenarios were examined in more detail using all models presented at the meeting and compared.

Basis for policy decisions

When the results of all models are considered in their entirety, the range of possibilities in terms of important drivers such as energy prices, the penetration level of power generation technologies and the costs of non-action for the future energy supply can be shown. In this way an important basis for future planning discussions is made available to policy decision-makers.

Researchers at Oeko-Institut have established themselves in the modelling forum, carrying out modelling activities within the scope of not only analyses conducted for the EU but also within the analysis of global climate protection questions and possible contributions of the USA to climate protection. From the meeting the researchers were also able to take away useful pointers for how they could develop their CGE model further.

Further information

Oeko-Institut’s modelling

Energy Modeling Forum 

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research 

Economic Research Service at the US Department of Agriculture 


Dr. Katja Schumacher
Researcher Energy & Climate
Oeko-Institut, Berlin office
Phone +49-30/405085-380
E-Mail Contact 

Dr. Hannah Förster
Researcher Energy & Climate
Oeko-Institut, Berlin office
Phone +49-30/405085-380
E-Mail Contact