BEC2050 Q&A

Who is BEC and what is BEC2050?

The BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC) is a group of New Zealand organisations who are taking a leading role by defining a sustainable energy future.

The Council is developing two scenarios – called BEC2050 – that will support government, business and industry to plan more effectively for the changes in energy use out to 2050.

Back to top

What are scenarios?

A scenario is a coherent story of the future that illustrates some of the different outcomes of the major uncertainties we face, for example whether a global agreement on climate change is signed or not, or how quickly technology changes.

Scenarios allow planners and policy makers to better understand the impact of different futures on their decisions.

Back to top

Why are the scenarios being developed?

Our energy systems and needs are changing rapidly and the pace of change is increasing as consumers and businesses quickly adapt to new technologies. This creates a lot of uncertainty about the future – both globally and in New Zealand. That makes it harder for energy leaders and policy makers to look ahead to predict what might impact our energy mix.

BEC2050 aims to create two detailed and reliable scenarios that can be used to inform decisions that will impact us over the next 30 years and beyond.

Back to top

Who is WEC and what are the WEC scenarios?

The World Energy Council (WEC) is a network of leaders and practitioners promoting an affordable, stable and environmentally sensitive energy system. BEC is the New Zealand Member Committee of the World Energy Council.

The World Energy Council has developed two scenario stories. They are the consumer-driven Jazz scenario and the more voter-driven Symphony scenario. The scenarios allow energy decision makers to assess what is happening in the world and to gauge what will happen in the future, including the real impact of today's choices on tomorrow's energy landscape.

The Funnel of Plausible Scenarios


The WEC scenarios steer us towards developing plans and policies that are flexible and adaptable. Over time, as more information about the actual path we are on emerges, the scenarios can help us deduce how to adapt, depending on which of the scenarios better reflects reality.

Back to top

Is BEC2050 Jazz and Symphony for New Zealand?

The World Energy Council's scenarios reflect a world view – Jazz is a consumer-driven scenario, while Symphony is more voter-driven. This works well in a global context, however, in New Zealand we have our own factors to consider.

Our scenarios will be relevant to WEC's view of the rest of the world, but will be New Zealand's unique story within that context.

Back to top

How are the BEC 2050 scenarios different?

The BEC2050 scenarios are based on an internationally recognised framework and modelling, used by the World Energy Council to develop their scenarios, Jazz and Symphony.

However, the BEC2050 scenarios are specific to New Zealand, and are likely to make different assumptions about our context. They will not necessarily be broken down into consumer or voter driven scenarios.

Back to top

Who will use the scenarios?

The scenarios are being developed so that they are useful to the energy sector, to business and government as they plan for the future.

The BEC2050 scenarios will allow decision-makers in business and government to test their ideas as they make decisions about New Zealand's energy future such as whether to invest further in power stations or the introduction of electric vehicles.

Back to top

How are the scenarios being developed?

We are bringing together a wide group of energy experts, government and NGOs to come up with the storylines that map out two potential futures for New Zealand, in a global context. These storylines will become the BEC2050 scenarios.

That means we are able to develop a uniquely New Zealand view of our energy mix, considering a range of factors – the world energy system and our local social, political and economic context.

The modelling will be carried out by the World Energy Council's project partner, the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), based in Switzerland.

Back to top

What will the results look like?

BEC2050 uses the same framework and modelling as the World Energy Council scenarios. For an idea of what the BEC2050 results might look like, click here.

Back to top

Why is this important to the people of New Zealand?

New Zealanders need to feel assured that business leaders, politicians and policy makers are well-informed to make the best possible decisions about future energy use.

The BEC2050 scenarios will provide a sound and independently developed framework to support these decisions.

Back to top

Who has been involved in developing them?

BEC2050 scenarios are being developed by leading industry, government, academic and civil society representatives. In addition to the organisations whose logos are listed alongside, this includes the following leading energy sector companies, universities and NGOs:

Auckland University, Victoria University, Electricity and Gas Complaints Commission, EPEC University of Canterbury, Heliocon, Ideaforge, Dr Joel Cayford, Landcare Research, MacDiarmid Institute, Massey University, Motor Trade Association, MOTU, National Energy Research Institute, NZ Youth Delegation, Nigel Broomhall, Shea Pita & Associates, The Salvation Army, Trustpower, Toyota NZ Ltd, and Woodward Partners.

Back to top

Who is sponsoring the project?

Our project sponsors are:

BEC2050 Sponsors 

Back to top

How can I find out more?

For more information about BEC2050, please contact us:

Project Sponsors