The Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS) is designed to provide a sense of the prevailing direction of energy system progression, based on a detailed review of the current policy landscape. It provides a more granular, sector-by-sector evaluation of the policies that have been put in place to reach stated goals and other energy-related objectives, taking account not only of existing policies and measures but also those that are under development. The STEPS provides a more conservative benchmark for the future than the Announced Pledges Scenario (APS), by not taking for granted that governments will reach all announced goals. Similarly to the APS, it is not designed to achieve a particular outcome.

The policies assessed in the STEPS cover a broad spectrum, including Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, and much more. The bottom-up modelling for this scenario requires extensive detail at the sectoral level, including pricing policies, efficiency standards and schemes, electrification programmes, and specific infrastructure projects. The scenario takes into account relevant policies and implementation measures adopted as of the end of August 2023, together with relevant policy proposals, even if the specific measures needed to put these proposals into effect have yet to be fully developed.

Government announcements include some far-reaching targets, such as aspirations to achieve full energy access in a few years, to reform pricing regimes and, more recently, to reach net zero emissions. As with all the policies considered in the STEPS, these ambitions are not automatically incorporated into the scenario. Full implementation cannot be taken for granted, so the prospects and timing for their realisation are based upon our assessment of countries’ relevant regulatory, market, infrastructure and financial circumstances.

Where policies are time-limited, they are generally assumed to be replaced by measures of similar intensity. We do not assume future strengthening – or weakening – of future policy action, except where there already is specific evidence to the contrary.

For the first time in 2023, the STEPS takes into account industry action, including manufacturing capacity for clean energy technologies and the impacts of this capacity on market uptake beyond announced or implemented policies.

The STEPS shows that in aggregate, current country commitments are enough to make a significant difference over time. However, there is still a large gap between the STEPS projections and the trajectories of the APS or the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario.