SES 2019 Competition - What if? The Final Debate

As George Box once said, ‘All models are wrong, but some are useful’. The Final Debate offers an incredible opportunity to inspect these future scenarios from a different lens.

The importance and urgency of a sustainable and equitable energy transition is continually highlighted in reports produced by organisations and companies around the world. Powerful models are used and being developed by companies, researcher organisations and energy forecasting agencies to produce an outlook on a wide variety of future energy scenarios. These models investigate trends and changes to global electricity generation, energy consumption, CO2 emissions, sea-level rise and so, so much more.

The Final Debate will focus on a number of these scenarios from forecasting agencies such as the BNEF, BP, Shell, IPCC, and the IEA. The Final Debate session at the summit will investigate and explore the assumptions, projections and implications of the findings of these reports with our expert panellists.

~~ The Competition ~~

Pick a topic from a recently published forecast on future energy scenarios that you are passionate about. You should take this topic or scenario and investigate its impact on our global energy system, the likelihood of its occurrence and the assumptions on which it has been defined. Critically analyse the topic; what are the challenges facing the topic and what assumptions are they built upon? Most importantly, what questions would you pose to a panel of experts on the topic?

We recommend you check out the following reports to help with your ideas:

Once you have gathered your findings, present them in a brief one-page PDF report. This should be submitted as a PDF document and can be produced either individually or in teams!

There are three key checkpoints on your journey to producing your submission:

1.     Clearly identify the topic or scenario that you are investigating.

2.     For your chosen topic or scenario:

  • Outline the impact on the global (or local) energy system you are addressing - what is the role of your chosen topic and why is it important?

  • Highlight what the report-writing agencies say about the topic – do any of them differ?

  • What are the key challenges facing this topic?

3.     Once you have evaluated the topic, identify what questions would you pose to a panel of experts on this topic.

If you don’t have time to write a report - no problem! E-mail the questions and topics that you would like to see debated at the Final Debate Panel to the address below!

The winners of the competition will have their questions featured at the Final Debate plenary session and have their work featured on the Student Energy website!

Submit your one-page PDF report by the 14th July to Nicholas at