First, the scenario forecasts a future level of energy-consuming activities (e.g. tonnes of steel used), based on a growing population and a tripling of the world’s economy. These services would be delivered with a minimum of energy and material use.
Second, the scenario ranks the sources to provide the energy for these activities based on sustainability. Energy from the sun, wind, water and heat from the earth’s crust are prioritised and will contribute to a further electrification of our society. Only once these options are exhausted is bio-energy deployed. Renewable energy proves to be abundant. By utilising existing technologies alone and applying stringent sustainability criteria (e.g. on bio-energy sources), 95% of all energy can be renewable by 2050. Only certain manufacturing processes (e.g. steel, cement) will need specific properties of fossil fuels that cannot be substituted by renewable fuels yet.
An important condition in the scenario is the development towards a sustainable standard of living around the world, based on increasing equity between different regions. Upfront financing will be required, but in the long term, benefits will outweigh costs.