Energy scenarios that are used for policy advice have ecological and social impact on society. Policy measures that are based on modelling exercises may lead to far reaching financial and ecological consequences. The purpose of this study is to raise awareness that energy modelling results are accompanied with uncertainties that should be addressed explicitly.
With view to existing approaches of uncertainty assessment in energy economics and climate science, relevant requirements for an uncertainty assessment are defined. An uncertainty assessment should be explicit, independent of the assessor’s expertise, applicable to different models, including subjective quantitative and statistical quantitative aspects, intuitively understandable and be reproducible. Bayesian model averaging for input variables of energy models is discussed as method that satisfies these requirements. A definition of uncertainty based on posterior model probabilities of input variables to energy models is presented.
The main findings are that (1) expert elicitation as predominant assessment method does not sa ... mehrtisfy all requirements, (2) Bayesian model averaging for input variable modelling meets the requirements and allows evaluating a vast amount of potentially relevant influences on input variables and (3) posterior model probabilities of input variable models can be translated in uncertainty associated with the input variable.
An uncertainty assessment of energy scenarios is relevant if policy measures are (partially) based on modelling exercises. Potential implications of these findings include that energy scenarios could be associated with uncertainty that is presently neither assessed explicitly nor communicated adequately.