Context-Specific Energy Strategies: Coupling Energy System Visions with Feasible Implementation Scenarios


Trutnevyte, E.; Stauffacher, M.; Schlegel, M.; Scholz, R.W.

Journal or Book Title: Environmental Science & Technology

Keywords: Energy; visions; scenarios

Volume/Issue: 46

Page Number(s): 9240−9248

Year Published: 2012


Conventional energy strategy defi nes an energy system vision (the goal), energy scenarios with technical choices and an implementation mechanism (such as economic incentives). Due to the lead of a generic vision, when applied in a specific regional context, such a strategy can deviate from the optimal one with, for instance, the lowest environmental impacts. This paper proposes an approach for developing energy strategies by simultaneously, rather than sequentially, combining multiple energy system visions and technically feasible, cost-eff ective energy scenarios that meet environmental constraints at a given place. The approach is illustrated by developing a residential heat supply strategy for a Swiss region. In the analyzed case, urban municipalities should focus on reducing heat demand, and rural municipalities should focus on harvesting local energy sources, primarily wood. Solar thermal units are cost-competitive in all municipalities, and their deployment should be fostered by information campaigns. Heat pumps and building refurbishment are not competitive; thus, economic incentives are essential, especially for urban municipalities. In rural municipalities, wood is cost-competitive, and community-based initiatives are likely to be most successful. Thus, the paper shows that energy strategies should be spatially diff erentiated. The suggested approach can be transferred to other regions and spatial scales.


Type of Publication: Journal Article