Energy modelling

Energy modelling

The European Commission’s energy policy decisions are underpinned by thorough analyses and impact assessments. Mathematical models and tools are used to assess policies' effectiveness and evaluate the potential consequences of policy proposals.

EU Reference Scenario 2016

The EU Reference Scenario is one of the European Commission's key analysis tools in the areas of energy, transport and climate action. It allows policy-makers to analyse the long-term economic, energy, climate and transport outlook based on the current policy framework. It is not designed as a forecast of what is likely to happen in the future, but it provides a benchmark against which new policy proposals can be assessed. National experts from all EU countries actively participate in its preparation.

Explore the latest EU Reference Scenario 2016 with interactive graphs.

EU Reference Scenario 2016 main outputs:

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The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in these interactive graphs, developed by external contractors, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof. Neither the Commission nor any person acting on the Commission’s behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Modelling framework for the EU Reference Scenario

The EU Reference Scenario is developed by a consortium led by the National Technical University of Athens (E3MLab). It uses a range of different models.

Previous editions of the Reference Scenario

EUCO scenarios

As part of the European Commission's impact assessment work in 2016, two core policy scenarios, EUCO27 and EUCO30, were created using the PRIMES model , with the EU Reference Scenario 2016 as a starting point. They model the achievement of the 2030 climate and energy targets as agreed by the European Council in 2014 (the first scenario with a 27% energy efficiency target and the second with a 30% energy efficiency target). These scenarios were used as inputs to these documents:

The EUCO+ scenarios, which model the achievement of energy efficiency targets above 30% in 2030, and the EUCO3030 sensitivity analysis, which combined a 30% renewable share in 2030 with an energy efficiency target of 30%, were also prepared in 2016. They were used in the Impact Assessment accompanying the proposal for the revised Energy Efficiency Directive. These scenarios are presented in the following technical report:

For the Impact Assessment accompanying the proposal for revising the Renewable Energy Directive and the Impact Assessment accompanying the proposal for the revised Energy Efficiency Directive (both published in November 2016), another modelling exercise was undertaken to demonstrate the impact of the scenarios at a macro-economic level (e.g. on GDP growth and employment). It used two different models.



To model how the European energy system works, in particular electricity and gas markets and systems, DG Energy is developing the METIS model.

Macroeconomic modelling

DG Energy is currently undertaking a study of the links between EU energy-related policies and macroeconomic development.

Other modelling activities

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre is developing an EU energy, transport and greenhouse gas emissions tool called POTEnCIA. The Commission also promotes new modelling approaches via its Horizon 2020 programme, including SET-NAV, REEEM, REFLEX and MEDEAS.

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