Table of contents

1.2.1. Thematic scope

The report looks at the energy system with a focus on climate change adaptation and increased climate resilience (see Section 1.3 for a definition of these terms) rather than decarbonisation and climate change mitigation. However, climate change mitigation and adaptation in the energy system are often strongly connected. Therefore, this report addresses also the synergies (i.e. where mitigation activities also have adaptation benefits, or vice versa) and trade-offs (i.e. where an adaptation action increases the mitigation challenges, or vice versa) between these policy objectives. In contrast, challenges of the clean energy transition that would also occur in a stable climate (i.e. without an explicit adaptation element) are beyond the scope of this report.

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This report covers the whole energy system from primary energy production to energy consumption, including all energy sources and carriers. Specifically, this includes electricity generation, transformation, transmission, storage and distribution; oil and gas extraction, transport and distribution; biomass production and transport; heat and cold production and distribution; and energy demand (for various purposes). Particular attention is given to components and technologies that are highly sensitive to climate change and variability and/or that are expected to become more important in the context of the clean energy transition. As a result, there is a strong focus on the electricity system and on low-carbon scenarios.

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This report applies the following categorisation of the energy system into components, which was developed by the International Energy Agency (IEA, 2016b):

  • Primary energy production: The extraction or production of energy resources as inputs to energy transformation processes. It includes the extraction of the main fossil energy sources of coal, oil and natural gas, and of uranium. It also includes renewable energy sources such as hydropower, bioenergy, solar and wind energy.
  • Energy transformation: The transformation of energy resources into secondary energy carriers. This includes electric power and heat generation technologies, including renewable (e.g. biomass-based) and fossil energy, and fuel refining.
  • Transportation, transmission, storage and distribution: This component comprises power grids, gas and oil pipelines and their supporting infrastructure, such as storage facilities, substations and logistical assets. It further includes pumped hydropower storage, batteries and other storage technologies. It also includes transportation of fuels and carbon capture and storage.
  • Energy demand: The use of energy in buildings, households, industry, businesses and transport, i.e. the power, heating and cooling demand of all consumers. The non-energy use of energy sources (e.g. oil use for plastic production) is outside the scope of this study.

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