Modelling Sufficiency Scenarios

  • genre: break‑out‑group
  • title: Modelling sufficiency scenarios
  • presenter: @frauke,, @LCRDRC
  • background:

We will briefly provide an overview of ongoing work on sufficiency scenarios and respective assumptions on the one and on our sufficiency scenarios created by our research group on the other side. We would like to find potential collaborators for modelling sufficiency scenarios. Either the ones we derived in the background or own ones. Potentially this may lead to discussing how knowledge on sufficiency potential and options could be fed into energy models. We will provide ideas to gather data and references on quantification of sufficiency potentials and will collect feedback on how to format this information to be useful for modellers.


Google Tables for the session

Some notes from the break-out group session — I do not know if you all agree on these points, I just try to summarize some points — you are very welcome to add and comment on this:


  • Interest from modellers side to include sufficiency is increasing

  • We are all aware that social challenges exist to implement sufficiency measures, however also technical challenges are connected to what is technological development is implicitly or explicitly included in modelling/scenario parameters and assumptions. Sometimes the technical ones are even rather on the magical side regarding the speed of implementation that is assumed, partly the limits of what is possible to realize are already crossed in the model assumptions to reach the climate goal boundary conditions. Including sufficiency could balance this

  • Especially the required speed to build infrastructure is a dominant constraint for the required fast transition to climate neutrality, here sufficiency could kick in to enable reaching the goal

  • However, there is still a high skepticism regarding including sufficiency in the scenarios for modelling, not that much among the openmods in the session, but it was reported that it would be difficult to explain for colleagues, recipients of the modelling results etc.


  • Free standing sector demand models (rather simulation) can support to provide justified reduction potentials by sufficiency

  • The idea was proposed to try the other way round: Give the model a budget, the outcome is how much energy needs to be saved. Further models then get this reduction /energy demand and provide numbers on which energy service level indicators would that mean


  • Additionally a comment understanding in energy service level indicators would be helpful - should be integrated in the energy ontology, so far there are only two energy service level indicators

  • More reliable data on potentials of sufficiency is required

  • A compilation of quantified sufficiency potentials can be very helpful - The energy sufficiency research groups currently works on such a sufficiency potential database, which provides quantified effects (GHG or TWH or other reduction) of different sufficiency policy measures

Sufficiency potentials database

Feedback to the sufficiency potentials database — work in progress, just starting!:

  • Diffusion potentials should be added

  • Including a measure for uncertainty like e.g. an error bar would be great

  • Including beneficial factors that would lead to this policy or the realization of the quantified potential to happen would be great

  • Would be great to offer the possibility to choose a bottom line for certain energy service indicators or something like preference spaces and get the respective quantified potential then

  • per-capita indicators have their advantages, but a big disadvantage is that they hide distributional effects which are also important for sufficiency - very important point, however we still need the aggregated per-capita-ones but should develop additional ones that reflect distributional aspects

We might come back to you for further feedback when the sufficiency potential database has developed


  • We have presented the scenarios our energy sufficiency research group has derived with a Cross-Impact-Balance Method (two green growth, four different sufficiency scenarios), there are 10 defined descriptors and narratives for each, but juts first steps of quantification of parameters yet.

  • If any of you are interesting in modelling these, let us know, then we can find out together how the quantification can take place

Thanks for you participation!

I was asked to share some information on sufficiency in general and sufficiency in modelling, so here you are:

General info on sufficiency

Sufficiency policy

Scenarios/tools that include sufficiency aspects

Whenever you have questions, suggestions etc. — do not hesitate to contact us :slight_smile: