Energy Scenarios and Policy

FEEM’s “Energy Scenarios and Policy - ESP” research program aims to carry out interdisciplinary, scientifically sound, prospective and policy-oriented applied research, targeted at political and business decision makers.

This aim is achieved through an integrated quantitative and qualitative analysis of energy scenarios and policies. This  innovative and interdisciplinary approach puts together the major factors driving the change in global energy dynamics (i.e. technology, economy, geopolitics and sociological aspects). The ESP program applies this methodology to a wide range of issues (energy demand and supply, infrastructures, financing, market analyses, socio-economic impacts of energy policies) that are explored from economic, geopolitical and institutional perspectives.

The research activities of the ESP program concern three areas:

The future of European energy and gas
The objective is to understand the role of gas in important areas such as the EU Energy Union and the post-COP21 EU decarbonisation path, and to study the complementarity between gas and renewable energy. Another important stream of research focuses on energy and gas security of supply in Europe through the analysis of the new geopolitical and market dynamics of the EU gas supply architecture. Finally, considering the key role of infrastructures in the development of energy markets, it is essential to explore new avenues for European energy infrastructure financing and the potential role of institutional investors in this sector.

The future of Mediterranean energy
With a triple focus:

  • To enhance regional cooperation on hydrocarbons. In the hydrocarbons sector, research on the prospects for the development of a regional gas hub in the East Mediterranean is essential, especially in view of an oil and gas diversification policy.
  • To support renewable energy cooperation/energy efficiency in the region. In the renewable energy sector, research analyses the key barriers to the development of renewable energy and studies the sustainable energy programs of the Countries of the region, also in consideration of Europe’s potential role in supporting the transition toward sustainable energy in this area of the world.
  • To finance Mediterranean energy infrastructure projects. With regard to the key role of financing the infrastructures for the development of energy markets, especially in the Mediterranean region, an analysis on future investments in gas and electricity infrastructures and the support of public European and international banks, is essential.

The sustainable energy transition in Sub-Saharan Africa
Notwithstanding the importance and size of these challenges, sub-Saharan Africa’s energy sector remains one of the most poorly understood parts of the global energy system, and very few international energy research centres have developed substantial activities on and in the region. In this framework, the aim this project is to contribute to understanding Sub-Saharan Africa's current and future energy challenges and opportunities. In particular, the project will:

  • Highlight key actions in the energy sector that can contribute to a more rapid economic and social development in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Explore how modern energy, including electrification, could replace traditional energy sources in sub-Saharan Africa, also by analysing   previous successful international experiences.
  • Examine the potential for arbitrage between renewables (including hydro) and fossil fuels, and between coal and natural gas, and the related impacts on regional power generation.
  • Provide insights into the future role of renewables in the region's energy future, particularly in relation to the electrification of rural areas.
  • Examine how existing and emerging oil and gas producers can maximize the value of their resources for economic development by taking into consideration previous international experiences.
  • Identify the benefits that greater regional integration of the energy sector can bring, as well as mapping the future role of sub-Saharan Africa in the wider energy system, with particular reference to the Mediterranean region and Europe.

Dissemination activities

  • Organization of workshops and seminars gathering international experts from the academic and business worlds and from international organizations to foster an informed debate on issues such as: the role of gas in the decarbonisation path,  gas demand and supply evolution in Europe, renewable energy cooperation, financing of energy infrastructures, sustainable development and major geostrategic challenges in the Mediterranean region and EU political and geopolitical  relationships with supplier and transit Countries.
  • Publication in international peer reviewed journals and in FEEM’s Note di lavoro remains the main target for scientific dissemination.
Ongoing Projects
For a Sustainable Energy Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa  - SETiSSA
Research project Ongoing Project
January 2017 / December 2018
For a Sustainable Energy Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa - SETiSSA
Related areas
Energy and the economy
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Energy policy and governance
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Energy and the environment
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Research Program and Team

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