New Trends in Energy Demand Modelling
- Geographical scope:National
- Model type:Energetic
- Time horizon:2020 - 2022
- Initial Release:September 2020
- Institution(s):E3 Modeling; Institute of Energy Systems and Electrical Drives, Technische Universität Wien – Energy Economics Group
- Contact:Lukas Kranzl
- Contact e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
The goal of newTRENDs is to recognize and model the influence of new social trends on energy needs demand, and hence develop scenarios of their future development. The digitalization of the economy and private lives (including new and smarter ways for private households to consume, produce and manage their own energy), the circular economy, the creation of a low-carbon industry, and the sharing economy particularly in the transport and the tertiary sectors (including investments in autonomous electric cars) – these four trends are expected to have a significant impact on increasing or reducing energy demand in the European Union in the coming years. New social trends may affect not only the amount of energy consumed, but also its preferred form by consumers, or the time period of the greatest burden on the energy grid. The larger the sections of society that succumb to these changes, the greater the evolution will take place throughout the energy system. Researchers will use qualitative (foresight) methods with quantitative cross-sectoral modelling. This combination is not widely applied so far and is a great strength of the newTRENDs project. However, the quantitative models that will be enhanced in this project are tools that are quite frequently used by the EU for long-term forecasting. To make the analysis as accurate as possible, researchers will also use modern sources of data on social trends and energy consumption.
Those New Societal Trends are not simply the extrapolation of already presently observed trends (“continuous or linear trends”) but may take up speed when they are embraced by larger parts of the society (“disruptive or non-linear trends”). Such trends include:
- Transition of Consumers to Prosumagers,
- Move towards a Circular Economy and a Low-carbon industry,
- Digitalisation of the Economy and of private lives,
- Trends towards a Shared Economy
and will be the main focus of the present project. In this context, newTRENDs is developing the analytical basis for a “2050 Energy Efficiency Vision” taking into account New Societal Trends in energy demand modelling.
For the achievement of the 2-degree goal set out 2015 in the Paris Agreement, two central strategies have to be implemented in all countries:
- enhancing energy efficiency (EE) and
- decarbonizing remaining energy supply and demand, in particular by large penetration of renewable energy sources (RES).
Scenarios with different focusses and assumptions have been developed to map this development until 2050. While these scenarios present a major step forward beyond previous modelling approaches by integrating societal trends as increasing climate awareness or circular economy, much more progress is necessary to enhance the empirical basis for such New Societal Trends and their representation in models. New Societal Trends are understood as societal developments arising from general Megatrends, which can have potentially large (increasing or decreasing) impacts on energy consumption as well as cross-sectoral demand shifts.