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The Future of Energy in Europe - Understanding the perspective of “Generation Y”

Article 13 recently hosted the first in a series of futures workshops (with SAMI Consulting) which bring together Generation Y and industry experts to explore the big questions and emerging issues of the day (to receive a copy of the final report and/or register for future Generation Y events please contact

The first ‘Generation Y’ workshop focused on the future of energy in Europe, and considered the ‘drivers, the trends and the bends’ as we look forward to 2020, 2030 and 2050. We asked:

  • How will the growth of the middle class, continuing urbanisation and changing travel patterns influence how (and where) we use and require energy?
  • How will government policy and public opinion interact – will it create a stable environment for future investment in renewables and nuclear new build?
  • To what extent will new technologies open previously unimaginable scenarios of energy use? For instance, will 3D printing shift demand for energy use from the factory floor to the home?

The participants identified two key questions, which they believe are the least predictable and therefore the most critical to understand when building robust scenarios for the future:

  • Will energy be affordable and the supply secure or not?
  • Will public opinion allow new build and renewables?

Based on these questions, four scenarios were developed. At one extreme there was the ‘Two Tier Energy’ scenario, in which energy is not affordable owing to supply constraints, and public opinion remains a critical obstacle for future new build and renewables. At the other extreme, there is the entirely more positive ‘‘All is well’ scenario, in which energy supplies are secure and affordable and public opinion positive towards new build and renewables.

To find out further details and what these scenarios might mean for your organisation - and/or to register for future Generation Y events please contact

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