Beyond sensitivity analysis: A methodology to handle fuel and electricity prices when designing energy scenarios

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18 Citations (Scopus)


World market fuel prices vary and have historically been very difficult to predict. Especially the price of oil has shown remarkable and unexpected increases and decreases throughout the past 5 decades. The same kind of uncertainty can be seen in many of the new cross-border markets for the trade of electricity, which have been introduced in recent decades. These uncertainties pose a challenge to the design and assessment of future energy strategies and investments, especially in the economic assessment of renewable energy versus business-as-usual scenarios based on fossil fuels. From a methodological point of view, the typical way of handling this challenge has been to predict future prices as accurately as possible and then conduct a sensitivity analysis. This paper includes a historical analysis of such predictions, leading to the conclusion that they are almost always wrong. Not only are they wrong in their prediction of price levels, but also in the sense that they always seem to predict a smooth growth or decrease. This paper introduces a new method and reports the results of applying it on the case of energy scenarios for Denmark. The method implies the expectation of fluctuating fuel and external electricity prices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Pages (from-to)108-116
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Electricity market price predictions
  • Energy scenarios
  • Energy system analysis
  • Fuel price predictions
  • Smart energy systems

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