• Lukas Jack Reiner Godé
4. semester, By-, Energi- og Miljøplanlægning, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The intensive use of energy in the European Union (EU) put great pressure on the „planetary boundaries“ (Rockström et al, 2009), including the impacts on climate. Supply-side efforts to develop decarbonized energy sources are critical to address anthropogenic sources of climate change, but they remain bounded to other planetary boundaries. Their use at the current level of energy use in industrial regimes may therefore not be sustainable. Demand-side efforts should therefore be strengthened. As one of the largest end-use consumption sector in the EU, residential energy consumption should be of particular concern.
In this thesis, I discuss the relevance of a more interdisciplinary political framework to cut down residential energy consumption. I review the current EU political framework on residential energy consumption management and confront it with recent critics from the scientific literature. Household size declining trends are assumed to significantly drive the residential energy demand. Therefore, I then develop an explanatory model of residential consumption to quantitatively assess the potential to cut off residential consumption by developing co-housing opportunities. With the insights of a semi-structured interview, I eventually discuss the innovative transition governance models that could address the dynamics of social practices such as household size trends steering the residential energy consumption.
The EU current approach to residential energy demand is primarily based on a two legs strategy (Labanca et Bertoldi, 2018) promoting on the one hand technical efficiency improvements and on the other hand policy instruments to change individual behaviours and incentivizing the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. Efficiency efforts should be embedded in a conservation framework if net consumption savings targets are to be set, while a social-practice based approach could enable to collectively address the structural socio-material configurations largely influencing individual behaviours. Sufficiency approaches pave the way to conceptualizing deep socio-material transitions that promote both energy conservation and well-being, such as co-housing for instance. The explanatory model enables to confirm the significant effect of household size on the residential end-use consumption per capita in the EU context. According to this model, bringing the Swedish household size national average to the level it was in 1991 – for instance through the development of co-housing options - would enable to alleviate the national residential consumption by up to 9\%. As concluded from the insights of the semi-structured interview, reflexive governance processes seem to be adapted to initiate such deep social-practice transitions by emphasizing co-processes of experimenting, learning and institutionalizing.
Udgivelsesdatojun. 2019
Antal sider83
Ekstern samarbejdspartnerPotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Co-chair "social Metabolism & Impacts" Peter-Paul Pichler pichler@pik-potsdam.de
ID: 305288995