Impacts of the energy crisis and climate protection

September 14, 2023

The transformation to climate neutrality demands a huge commitment from business and society. In addition, the ongoing energy crisis - caused by Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine - poses economic challenges for industry, businesses and households.

Ariadne researchers have created models to study the impact of the energy crisis in the coming years. In addition, they analyzed the economic impact of different technological solutions for climate neutrality modelled on different focuses, such as direct electrification, or the use of hydrogen or synthetic fuels. While the gross domestic product shows a similar development in all scenarios, the effects differ when focusing on individual sectors of the economy or on households

Researchers at the University of Stuttgart's Institute of Energy Economics and Rational Energy Use (IER) examined the effects of the energy crisis in two Ariadne scenarios "Energy Sovereignty" and "Technology Mix". Overall, the additional economic impacts of the energy crisis are relatively moderate in the medium to long term. The economic sectors most negatively affected are energy-intensive industry and transport. Furthermore, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research analyzed the economic impact of different technological scenarios. For this purpose, scenarios focusing on direct electrification, hydrogen or synthetic fuels were compared with the technology mix scenario. The research does not promote a particular preference for any individual technology scenario when considering the economy as a whole. Instead, the advantages and disadvantages of focusing on a particular technology must be examined specifically for each sector of the economy. In addition, the development of policy frameworks should pay more attention to potential barriers, such as a shortage of skilled workers, financing needs, and vulnerable value chains.

The Copernicus project Ariadne
Since mid-2020, the Copernicus project Ariadne, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, has been developing options for shaping the energy transition. Within this consortium of 27 research institutes, more than 100 experts demonstrate specific approaches to climate neutrality by modelling scenarios and pathways, by analyzing, completing panel surveys or through discussions with the public and from individual sectors to entire systems.

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