Narrative-informed exploratory analysis of energy transition pathways: A case study of India's electricity sector

Enayat A. Moallemi*, Fjalar de Haan, Jan Kwakkel, Lu Aye

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Energy transitions unfold under the influence of socio-technical, political and economic uncertainties. This paper introduces a narrative-informed exploratory approach for analysing future energy transition pathways under these uncertainty conditions. In this approach, exploratory modelling is used to explore the impact of various uncertainties, such as potential installed capacity and supporting policies for different energy options, on the unfolding of transition pathways. The approach produces several sets of scenarios. We complement this quantitative exploration of the future with narratives (storylines) generated based on the concepts in the sustainability transitions field. Narratives are used (i) as a supporting framework for model structure; (ii) to guide the exploration of the future; and (iii) to interpret the ensemble of quantitative scenarios. We describe how synergies between narratives and exploratory modelling inform both the framed and open-ended exploration of future transition pathways. The approach is demonstrated with a case study of the transition in India's electricity sector. We show that the realisation of the 100 GW solar electricity target by 2022 is unlikely, and that the development of solar electricity is highly dependent on the active role of government.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-287
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Exploratory modelling
  • India
  • Renewable energy
  • Robust decision making
  • Scenario discovery
  • Sustainability transitions


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