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Iran’s approach to energy policy towards 2040: a participatory scenario method

Reza Hafezi (Department of Science and Technology Futures Studies, National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP), Tehran, Iran)
Hossein Heirani (Department of Technology and Innovation Policy, National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP), Tehran, Iran)
Mohammadreza Akbari (Policy Lab, National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP), Tehran, Iran and Petroleum Engineering Department, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran)
Ahmad Mortezaee (Policy Lab, National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP), Tehran, Iran and School of Chemical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran)
Naser Bagherimoghaddam (Department of Technology and Innovation Policy, National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP), Tehran, Iran)
Hamid Heydari (Policy Lab, National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP), Tehran, Iran and Petroleum Engineering Department, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran)
Amirhossein Souhankar (School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran)

Foresight

ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 3 March 2023

Issue publication date: 9 August 2023

127

Abstract

Purpose

In the case of Iran, about 19 years have passed since the announcement of general energy policies. Policies adopted in the past included too many approaches and goals for the energy sector that some of them are in conflict with each other and their simultaneous implementation was impossible. Therefore, many of the expected goals of these policies have not been achieved. It is very important to adopt an appropriate approach that is compatible with the country’s characteristics and can steer energy policies. Therefore, this study aims to adopt an appropriate approach for the country’s energy sector according to the conditions and needs of the country.

Design/methodology/approach

A participatory scenario technique is designed and used to develop plausible projections in the case of Iran’s energy futures. Based on the proposed methodology, the research process starts with data gathering through interviews and national plans analysis. Then, findings were used as inputs to a simulation-based scenario development process. Scenarios are developed based on Monte Carlo simulation via cross-impact analysis technique purified based on expert judgments.

Findings

In this paper, to recognize Iran’s general approach to energy in the next 20 years, driving forces of change were introduced and used as input for the scenario development phase. Results showed sanctions play a significant role in Iran’s energy future and determine the directions of other driving forces. For renewable energy, it was proposed to increase the renewable share in Iran’s electricity generation mix to 5% of the total installed capacity. In the case of fossil fuel extraction, the maximum efficient rate was proposed for both oil and natural gas national production strategy.

Originality/value

This research is novel both in terms of application and theory. A new participatory scenario development method is used using simulations that are equipped based on experts’ judgments. Also from the practical perspective, this research targeted a future-oriented challenging problem to initialize national policy in a resource-rich developing economy (i.e. Iran).

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was carried out with the support of the Infrastructure and Production Commission of the Expediency Discernment Council and the National Research Institute for Science Policy. The authors would like to thank the experts and specialists who have worked with the research team as representatives of scientific, executive and policymaking bodies, as well as think tanks, to enrich the findings.

Citation

Hafezi, R., Heirani, H., Akbari, M., Mortezaee, A., Bagherimoghaddam, N., Heydari, H. and Souhankar, A. (2023), "Iran’s approach to energy policy towards 2040: a participatory scenario method", Foresight, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 649-665. https://doi.org/10.1108/FS-11-2021-0228

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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