LED Database (version 1.0):

Introduction to LED

The database presents the scenario results of an exploratory research, carried out at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA): the Low Energy Demand (LED) study.

The LED research explored how far transformative changes that combine technological changes, end-use efficiency, and new business models for energy service provision can lead, and how these changes could drive deep decarbonisation in the long-term.

The scenario development methodology included a bottom-up analysis of how currently existing, though often embryonic, social, institutional and technological trends could become mainstream with resulting step-changes in efficiency and resulting lowered energy demand. The bottom-up demand estimations were then further explored for their supply side and emissions and climate implications with a top-down modeling framework drawing on the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP) framework (Riahi et al. 2017). Such an end-use approach illustrates an alternative pathway to comply with the concurrent frameworks of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (Anderson and Peters 2016, Pye et al. 2017), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Biermann et al. 2017, Shindell et al. 2017), as opposed to traditional scenario and modeling studies that predominantly focus on energy resource or supply transformations (Behrens et al. 2017, Creutzig et al. 2016, Jewell et al. 2016 ).

The results show that global final energy demands can be drastically reduced in 2050, to around 245 EJ/yr, or 40% lower than today, whilst significantly expanding human welfare and reducing global development inequalities. According to the knowledge of the authors, LED is the lowest long-term global energy demand scenario ever published.

The LED scenario meets the 1.5°C climate target in 2100 without overshoot and keeps the global mean temperature increase below 1.5°C with a probability of more than 60%, without requiring controversial negative emission technologies, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), that figure prominently in the emission scenario literature (Rogelj et al. 2015, Anderson and Peters 2016, Creutzig et al. 2016, Smith et al. 2016).

Furthermore, the beneficial impacts of the LED scenario on a range of other sustainable development goals are also shown, demonstrating that efficiency of energy services provision plays a critical role in reaching low-energy futures without compromising increased living standards in the Global South, while at the same time reducing at the same adverse social and environmental impacts of climate mitigation strategies that focus predominantly on large supply transformations

The research is published in a peer-reviewed article in Nature Energy (Grubler et al. 2018) with ample supplementary information. Water consumption and withdrawal data are published in Parkinson et al. (2018).

About the LED Scenario data

The LED scenario development methodology involved the following steps:

  1. Bottom-up assessment of energy demand by major end-use service and upstream sector – data, assessment, assumptions documented in the peer-reviewed article and its supplementary information.
  2. Quantification of corresponding supply-side transformations in energy and land-use systems using the MESSAGE-GLOBIOM integrated assessment modeling framework – data documented in the LED Database.
  3. Evaluation of LED scenario outcomes against quantitative indicators of a range of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – data, assessment, assumptions demonstrated in the peer-reviewed article and its supplementary information.
The LED database has a special format, which was decided by the LED team with the aim to release all relevant data considering LED?s analytical demand-side focus. The format is slightly different from the IPCC SR1.5 database, known as the “IAMC 1.5°C Scenario Explorer”, however the data reported are identical.


Access to the database is open to anybody, although requires prior registration of the user.

User account

The My account link in the right lower corner of the browser window allows you to change your user account data (password, e-mail address and other contact details) with the exception of the login name. It is recommended to change the password upon first login. Keeping the e-mail address up-to-date is particularly important, because the results of the import procedure will be sent via e-mail.

A short tutorial on the use of the database

A short tutorial on the use of the online database is provided below.
If you experience technical problems with this database, please contact the LED Database Administrator.

The Navigation tabs

At the upper end of the browser window five navigation tabs can be found that provide different functionality of the web database. These five tabs are described in more detail in the following section.

About tab

The About tab provides information about the database and gives instructions on how to use the database. With exception of the About tab which can be viewed without special permissions, all other tabs require a valid user account (login and password) for the database. After entering the credentials the four additional tabs to navigate the database can be accessed. Which scenarios can be viewed depends on the individual user permissions (see User account). The difference between these three tabs for viewing is the way how scenario data can be combined for viewing.

Common Features of the Sectors, Series, and Scatter tabs

In all three view tabs the following selections can be made in the navigation bars on the upper left-hand side of the browser window:

(1.) Regions: In the upper left area of the screen is a field named Regions. Depending on the tab (see above) you may select one or multiple regions for which the data is shown on the screen. Generally the regions are organized in the two folders Compare and Model Name. While in the Compare folder you can find regions that are (approximately) defined across many models (World, five macro regions and seven countries commonly compared in modeling comparison exercises, see Region definitions), the Model name folder contains the native regions that you report to the database.

(2.) Scenarios: This field includes the list of scenarios from which one or more scenarios can be selected. In addition to scenarios, for a number of variables historical and base year data can be shown to compare with scenario results. Note that historical data is only available for the regions in the Compare folder (see also previous paragraph) and that currently only some emission and energy variables are covered. Further, displaying historical data is at the moment restricted to the Sectors tab.

(3.) Variables: In this field the variables can be selected for which the data is shown on the screen. Note that in the Sectors tab it is necessary to not only required to tick one or multiple variables for selection, but also to mark a variable name (highlighted in blue) for the graph on the right hand side to be updated. It is not important which variable or variable category is marked to initiate the graph update.

The Chart Preview on the upper right-hand side of the browser window shows the graph of the selected data (variable + scenarios + regions). In addition, the horizontally oriented Query Results area in the middle of the screen shows the data in tabular format.

It is possible to export the data either into Excel or two different graphical formats (PNG = portable network graphics, SVG = scalable vector graphics). In order to do so, select one of the options in the Output Options window at the bottom of the browser window. The field titled Notes shows additional information or explanatory text for the selected variables. The availability of notes is still under development and ultimate the contents will depend on input from modeling teams.

Region definitions

The consolidated results in the database are shown at regional aggregations of the World, and two macro regions, which are defined as follows:

Global North includes the OECD 1990 countries, the EU members and candidates, and the Countries from the Reforming Economies of the Former Soviet Union.

Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu

Global South includes the following regions and countries:

ASIA = The region includes most Asian countries with the exception of the Middle East, Japan and Former Soviet Union states.
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, China Hong Kong SAR, China Macao SAR, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam

MAF = This region includes the countries of the Middle East and Africa.
Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Reunion, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

LAM = This region includes the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela


LED References

Grubler, A., Wilson, C., Bento, N., Boza-Kiss, B., Krey, V., McCollum, D., Rao, N., Riahi, K., Rogelj, J., De Stercke, S., Cullen, J., Frank, S., Fricko, O., Guo, F., Gidden, M., Havlik, P., Huppmann, D., Kiesewetter, G., Rafaj, P., Sch?pp, W. & Valin, H. A low energy demand scenario for meeting the 1.5°C target and sustainable development goals without negative emission technologies. Nat Energy 3, 515-527 (2018).
Parkinson, S., Krey, V., Huppmann, D., Kahil, T., McCollum, D., Fricko, O., Byers, E., Gidden, M., Mayor, B., Khan, Z., Raptis, C., Rao, N., Johnson, N., Wada, Y., Djilali, N. & Riahi, K. (2018). Balancing clean water-climate change mitigation tradeoffs. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-18-005

Other References

Anderson, K. & Peters, G. The trouble with negative emissions. Science 354, 182-183 (2016).
Behrens, P., van Vliet, M. T., Nanninga, T., Walsh, B. & Rodrigues, J. F. Climate change and the vulnerability of electricity generation to water stress in the European Union. Nat Energy 2, 17114 (2017).
Biermann, F., Kanie, N. & Kim, R. E. Global governance by goal-setting: the novel approach of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 26, 26-31 (2017).
Creutzig, F.et al. Beyond technology: demand-side solutions for climate change mitigation. Annu Rev Env Resour 41, 173-198 (2016).
Jewell, J. et al. Comparison and interactions between the long-term pursuit of energy independence and climate policies. Nat Energy 1, 16073 (2016).
Pye, S., Li, F. G., Price, J. & Fais, B. Achieving net-zero emissions through the reframing of UK national targets in the post-Paris Agreement era. Nat Energy 2, 17024 (2017).
Riahi, K. et al. The shared socioeconomic pathways and their energy, land use, and greenhouse gas emissions implications: an overview. Global Environ Change 42, 153-168 (2017).
Rogelj, J.et al. Energy system transformations for limiting end-of-century warming to below 1.5°C. Nat Clim Change 5, 519-527 (2015).
Shindell, D. et al. A climate policy pathway for near-and long-term benefits. Science 356, 493-494 (2017).
Smith, P. et al. Biophysical and economic limits to negative CO2 emissions. Nat Clim Change 6, 42-50 (2016).

Terms of use

Privacy policy

This privacy policy sets out how IIASA uses and protects any information that you give IIASA when you use this database. IIASA is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement. IIASA may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. IIASA collects the following information:

  • E-mail address
We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:
  • Internal record keeping
  • To notify you once a dataset update is available.
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.


The content of the LED database and any derived analysis may only be used for non-commercial scientific publications, articles, educational purposes, figures and data tables provided that the source reference pursuant to section ‘Required citation’ is included and all relevant publications are correctly cited. Partial reproductions of the database content may be stored in online repositories, if this is necessary to comply with a journal's data archiving and access requirements. Such reproductions must be limited to the scope of the manuscript in question, and must include a hyperlink to the source database hosted at https://db1.ene.iiasa.ac.at/LEDDB and the download date from the source database.
However, any wholesale duplication, translation, reworking, processing, arrangement, transformation, or reproduction through the internet or any other channels, of the https://db1.ene.iiasa.ac.at/LEDDEB for commercial or non-commercial purposes is not permitted without the explicit written approval of IIASA.

Required citation

Source reference to this LED database – except for Water data – should read as follows:
“This [figure/table/article/...] is based on the LED database jointly hosted by the IIASA Eenergy and Transitions to New Technologies Programs at https://db1.ene.iiasa.ac.at/LEDDB. The underlying scientific data was published in Nature Energy (Grubler et al. 2018)”.

Source reference to the Water Consumption/Withdrawal data included in the LED database should be: “This [figure/table/article/...] is based on data in Parkinson et al. 2018, published in the LED database jointly hosted by the IIASA Energy and Transitions to New Technologies Programs at https://db1.ene.iiasa.ac.at/LEDDB.”

Any citations of publications made available through this and related publications are to be made in accordance with best scientific practice.


With respect to information available from this website, neither IIASA nor any of its employees make any warranty, expressed or implied, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, nor does IIASA assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product, or process disclosed.
The software is provided on an 'as is' basis and IIASA disclaims all liability of any kind arising out of the use, or inability to use, the databases and all information and data contained within them. Parts of the website or the underlying database might be extended, changed or partly or completely deleted by IIASA without further announcement.
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LED Database, 2018
Available at: https://db1.ene.iiasa.ac.at/LEDDB

Responsible for this page: LED Database Administrator