Energy Scenarios - Construction, Assessment and Impact (Project cooperation)

Project description

Energy scenarios play a crucial role in the general public debate about the future of energy supply. They are an important instrument to support decision-making in politics and economy being used by a multitude of organisations, ranging from bodies of national governments and transnational organisations to private companies and banks. Their context of usage ranges from the development of general strategies to the assessment of particular political or economic options. As decisions in the field of energy supply such as investment in power plants are especially binding for long periods of time, a careful analysis of possible futures of energy supply is necessary. The authors of energy scenarios - typically specialized scientific institutes - therefore have to fulfil a twofold requirement: energy scenarios have to be applicable in situations of decision-making and at the same time energy scenarios have to fulfil the standards of scientific practice.

The aim of the project is the development of a realistic and comprehensive understanding of the entire life cycle of scenarios, including their history, their construction principles, assessment methods and their communication effects with respect to policy-makers and the general public.

Conference volume

As a synopsis of the two workshops presented below a conference volume was published, which can be downloaded as a PDF.


Workshop I: energy scenarios - demand meets supply, Karlsruhe, 2./3. December 2010

Aims of the Workshop:

  • Presenting and analysing the demands and requests that energy scenario 'users' from different fields (politics, economy, banks) have on science;
  • Discussing the concrete forms of use of scenarios in decision-making in different fields, e.g. regarding the critical characteristics of scenarios;
  • Introducing methodological 'supplies' and problems from the scientific point of view, discussing them with the 'users' to improve the alignment of supply and demand;
  • Further developing the idea of a Helmholtz research school on energy scenarios using the latest results.

time and place:
Weberstraße 5
76133 Karlsruhe
start: 02.12.2010, 01:00 p.m.
end: 03.12.2010, 02:00 p.m.

Workshop II: Energy scenarios – Users and providers in dialogue

Aims of the Workshop:

  • Identifying users' demands and requests for energy scenarios in international agencies and organisations;
  • Discussing problems and analysing specific challenges in decision-making by using energy scenarios on a global level, i.e. integration of the national perspectives into a global perspective in terms of energy settings;
  • Presenting methodological developments and scientific approaches for international contexts to discuss their problems and challenges in the users' perspective;
  • Using the results of the workshop to further develop the idea of a Helmholtz research school on energy scenarios.

time and place:
Weberstraße 5
76133 Karlsruhe
date: 13.01.2011

Involved institutions

Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS /KIT), Institut für Industriebetriebslehre und Industrielle Produktion (IIP / KIT), Institut für Sozialwissenschaften (Universität Stuttgart / SOWI), Institut für Energiewirtschaft und Rationelle Energieanwendung (Universität Stuttgart / IER), Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI), Institut für Technische Thermodynamik (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Stuttgart)

Further activities on energy at KIT

KIT Zentrum Energie
KIT School of Energy



Book Chapters
Grunwald, A.
Der Lebensweg von Energieszenarien - Umrisse eines Forschungsprogramms
2011. Energieszenarien. Hrsg.: C. Dieckhoff, 11–24, KIT Scientific Publishing 
Dieckhoff, C.; Fichtner, W.; Grunwald, A.; Meyer, S.; Nast, M.; Nierling, L.; Renn, O.; Voß, A.; Wietschel, M. (Eds.)
Energieszenarien: Konstruktion, Bewertung und Wirkung - "Anbieter" und "Nachfrager" im Dialog
2011. KIT Scientific Publishing. doi:10.5445/KSP/1000021684Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document


Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-22500