Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
The energy system is today facing a major double issue: the shrinking of easily accessible and cheap fossil resources on the upstream side, and climate change on the downstream side. Energy policies must integrate this double physical constraint, as well as other physical limits, and have a long time and a global horizon, in order to anticipate and avoid a future energy and climate crisis that could be dramatic to society. However, politics tend to focus on other aspects (satisfying immediate social desires for instance).This report hence discusses options available to allow for a better consideration of physical constraints in energy policies design. As they strongly rely on energy scenarios, it appears that energy policy makers need a more transparent and didactic frame for scenario design and analysis. That is why The Shift Project has been developing an original, transparent and pedagogical energy scenario modeling tool, Rogeaulito, which is intended to highlight physical constraints. By developing narratives (quantified stories) and organizing and animating workshops with policy makers, using Rogeaulito, it is possible to convey messages and knowledge about the energy system and issues, and improve the policy making process. Nevertheless, policy makers remain subject to socio-political influences and to self-interest concerns, which can prevent them from making socially optimal choices on the long term. Therefore, the civil society as a whole must be included in a continuous and coherent debate to improve the common understanding of energy issues, of the (physical, cultural and psychological) obstacles to solving them and of concrete consequences of the possible choices. It will then be possible to give a democratic, legitimate and collaborative orientation to long term energy policies. At the end, it appears that a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach, involving physics, environmental science, economics, technology, sociology, political science and psychology is required to finally produce energy policies appropriate in order to face the issues mentioned above.