The Global Energy Assessment (GEA) Scenario database documents results and assumptions of the GEA energy transformation pathways that underpin the GEA. The database serves as a central data repository for the dissemination of GEA scenario information.

GEA globe © IIASA

The scenarios of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA) explore the feasibility and costs of global and regional energy transformations towards normative objectives for energy access, environmental impacts of energy conversion and use, and energy security. The GEA database includes detailed quantitative information for 41 pathways that fulfill these objectives by reaching specific and clear targets for:

  • Achieving universal energy access for the poor,
  • Reducing air pollution,
  • Limiting climate change, and
  • Improving energy security in all parts of the world.

Moving from these objectives to a specific pathway the GEA distinguishes three critical choices or 'branching points' (see Table below) with major implications for the nature and direction of the energy transformation. The first branching point describes alternative levels of energy demand and efficiency improvements, and leads to distinct pathway groups of low, high and intermediate demand (GEA-Efficiency, GEA-Supply and GEA-Mix respectively).

Another branching point explores alternative transformations on the supply-side with the main aim to test the flexibility of different supply-side configurations to fulfill the GEA sustainability objectives.

A third branching point concerns changes in the transportation system. A 'conventional' transportation system relying on liquid fuels has substantively different implications for supply-flexibility compared to an 'advanced' transportation system dominated by electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles. Although any major transformation in an end use sector that entails fuel switching will impact the energy supply, the magnitude of impact from transformations in the transportation systems warranted its inclusion as an explicit branching point.


Branching point (1):
what is the level of energy demand?
Branching point (2):
what are the dominant transportation fuels and technologies?
Branching point (3):
how diverse is the portfolio of supply-side options?

(low demand)



(intermediate demand)



(high demand)

Conventional Transportation

(liquid fuels)


Advanced Transportation

(electricity / hydrogen)

Full Portfolio (all options)

Restricted Portfolio (excludes or limits particular options):
- No CCS
- No BioCCS (CCS + Bio-energy)
- No Sinks
- No Nuclear
- No Nuclear & CCS
- Limited Renewables
- Limited Biomass
- Limited Biomass & Renewables
- Limited Biomass, No BioCCS & No Sinks


Branching_strukture © IIASA

Three-branch structure of pathways in the Global Energy Assessment