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CLEVER Scenario Project in 2020 - 2023

CLEVER Scenario launch June 5 2022CLEVER Scenario launch in Brussels and online
Monday, June 5. 2023
Read the Final Report and the Executive Summary.
Download Press Release

CLEVER (a Collaborative Low Energy Vision for the European Region) aims to propose an ambitious and realistic decarbonisation pathway for Europe. It is being developed through a bottom-up approach that starts with the national trajectories constructed by 20+ national partners from the academic world, research,or civil society. The scenario proposes a pathway that reconciles the long-term climate and sustainability imperatives with the short-term energy security constraints and practical feasibility of such a transformation.

CLEVER evaluates the potential of energy demand reduction (sufficiency and efficiency) and renewable energy development at the national and European level, with the aim to reach carbon neutrality at the European level by 2050 at the very latest,together with a 100% renewable mix.

About the CLEVER scenario:

A bottom-up methodology: The CLEVER pathway is being developed through a dialogue with national scenario makers in order to aggregate national visions into a European one and thus increase the feasibility of concrete transformations. The CLEVER scenario therefore fully takes into account national specificities, while also looking at optimisation gains of a coordinated action at the European level.
Since 2018, the national partners have been engaged in a technical dialogue to ensure the collective development of this project, thus allowing them to question their work and modelling approaches, and share best practices, which results in built-up capacity and raised ambition. Thematic working groups and methodological meetings have also been regularly organised.

The “Sufficiency – Efficiency – Renewables” approach: The CLEVER pathway is being built through an innovative three steps approach: The modelling starts with the definition of energy demand in every consumption sector (mobility, buildings, food, etc.). This modelling follows a sufficiency approach. Once this demand is defined, its intensity is optimised thanks to improvements to energy efficiency. Appropriate energy carriers are also chosen to optimise the decarbonisation of energy while respecting other sustainability issues (minimisation of raw material footprint, pollution, etc.). Finally, the energy production needs are fulfilled through renewable energies.

Sufficiency as the basis of the CLEVER approach: In the context of an increasingly acute environmental and climate crisis, and growing social inequalities, sufficiency aims at redefining our needs for resource-intensive services (provided by energy, land, materials etc.) as individuals and as societies, in order to adjust their nature and quantity at a level compatible with the Earth’s capacity. In this sense, sufficiency focuses the debate on quality of life instead of quantity of services and puts an emphasis on demand-side measures (promoting natural thermal comfort and light, avoiding oversized cars or household equipment, etc.). This search for a balance between meeting basic needs (“social foundation”) and ensuring that our impact remains below planetary limits (“ecological ceiling”) is well illustrated by the “Doughnut theory”.

Partners of the Project: NegaWatt (coordinator), and 24 national partners from 20 european countries including INFORSE-Europe in Denmark. The partners have different levels of involvement in the project (active partners having built their trajectories bottom-up, commenting partners having commented trajectories built top-down, observing partners participating in the broader exchange).
The project period: January 2020 to June 2023.
Read publications, methodology at and
More information:

Project Funding: The Project has been supported by crowdfunding, the European Climate Foundation (ECF), the Foundation for the progress of Humankind, and the Watt for Change foundation. ADEME, the French ecological transition agency is also contributing with a grant.