Di Felice L, Dunlop T, Giampietro M, Kovacic Z, Renner A, Ripa M and Velasco-Fernández R. Report on the Quality Check of the Robustness of the Narrative behind Energy Directives. MAGIC (H2020–GA 689669) Project Deliverable 5.4, 30 November 2018.
We identified four different narratives through a text analysis of EU documents and then we checked their relevance in participatory process with DG staff. The four narratives selected are: (1) it is possible to have a quick decarbonization of EU economy; (2) it is unproblematic to cover 100% of electricity supply with intermittent sources; (3) energy efficiency is an effective concept to generate indicators; and (4) it is possible to neglect the effects of outsourcing when discussing efficiency policies. Our exercise of QST indicates that the knowledge claims associated with these narratives are narrow. Three different types of results are presented:
(i) the approach of QST is a valid alternative strategy to check the robustness of scientific information used for informing policy;
(ii) the insights, supported by quantitative results associated with the use of alternative analysis, question the plausibility of the investigated narratives: (1) the energy inputs needed to build new technology and new infrastructure indicates that narrative #1 is dubious; (2) the scaling-up of intermittent electricity sources will require huge storage capacity that at the moment is simply not available; (3) energy efficiency is a simplistic concept that should be replaced by energy performance; (4) outsourcing plays a key role in determining the energy efficiency of modern society and therefore cannot be neglected.
(iii) it generated the experience in undertaking the QST required to move to the second phase of the project, when QST will be applied to the analysis of policy narratives in relation to the nexus.