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Energy at your service: highlighting energy usage systems in the context of energy efficiency analysis
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630). Swedish Defence Research Agency,Sweden.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5191-9250
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630). KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.
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2011 (English)In: Energy Efficiency, ISSN 1570-646X, E-ISSN 1570-6478, Vol. 4, no 3, 355-369 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Increasing energy efficiency has for a long time been identified as an important means of mitigating climate change. However, the full potential for technical energy efficiency has seldom been fully exploited. The traditional approach in energy systems analysis and policy is still largely supply-orientated, i.e. focusing on the management of energy conversion, production and distribution, and final use of energy in the form of energy carriers. This paper contributes to previous discussions on how to highlight and explore the user side in the analysis of energy systems in an efficiency context. The energy usage systems approach, including end-use technologies and the production of service demanded by a human activity system, is used to promote a dynamic bottom-up perspective on energy. In determining the possible potential for change by increasing energy efficiency, the demand for energy should not be considered synonymous with the demand for neither energy carriers, nor the measurable service volumes (such as kilometres travelled, square metre conditioned space, etc.), without considering the sociocultural context in which the service is being used or called upon. In summary, the predominant paradigm dealing with the energy system as a technical system managing resources and providing energy carriers should thus be complemented with the view of a socio-technical system facilitating and/or managing the services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2011. Vol. 4, no 3, 355-369 p.
Keyword [en]
Energy system, Efficiency, Energy services
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-37543DOI: 10.1007/s12053-010-9103-5ISI: 000293068600003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-79957627689OAI: diva2:434790

QC 20110816

Available from: 2011-08-16 Created: 2011-08-15 Last updated: 2016-01-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Making Futures: On Targets, Measures and Governance in Backcasting and Planning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making Futures: On Targets, Measures and Governance in Backcasting and Planning
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is about the making of futures – in the sense of planning, through which the world of tomorrow is crafted, and in the sense of images of the future, developed through the futures studies approach of backcasting. The point of departure for the thesis is that more visionary and strategic forms of planning are needed if the challenges of sustainable development are to be met, and that backcasting, through its long-term, integrative and normative character, can be a helpful tool towards this end.

The thesis explores how backcasting can be used when planning for sustainability by looking into three areas of problems and possibilities. The first of these concerns target setting, for which was found that both backcasting and planning tend to use targets that are elusive, rendering it difficult to understand what is included in the target and what is omitted. As a way to rectify this, a framework of methodological considerations for target setting is presented (Paper I). There is also a need for further methodological development on how to set targets for environmental aspects other than energy and GHG gases.

The second area concerns the identification of measures and actors, where both backcasting and planning were found to have the problem of being techno-biased and/or taking a rather superficial approach to ‘the social’ which means that the socio-technical complexity of everyday life is left unattended (Paper II). This has consequences in terms of delimiting the scope of measures identified and proposed and of the potential of these to result in intended changes. Two approaches are suggested to deal with this: a methodology for developing socio-technical scenarios, in which an iterative identification of objects and agents of change is a central trait (Paper III), and a service-orientated energy efficiency analysis, in which the social logic of energy use is highlighted (Paper IV).

The third area concerns how backcasting can be used in a more explorative approach to the governance of change, instead of leaving this unaddressed and/or unaltered (Paper V). In relation to this, the institutional and political dimensions of planning for sustainability are emphasised, with the focus on path dependency, discursive power and critical junctures (Paper VI).

The connection described between the fields of backcasting and planning for sustainability study and practice is thus beneficial for planning by showing how this could be made more visionary and strategic, while also contributing to the theoretical and methodological advancement of backcasting. One of the main contributions of the thesis is the exploration of how backcasting studies could benefit from including the question of ‘Who?’: Who could make the changes happen? Who should change (whose) lifestyle? Who (what group/s in society) benefits and who loses from the images of the future that are developed? And who is invited to take part in the making of futures and whose futures are being heard? Including the question of ‘who’ highlights the normative character of sustainable development and makes issues of environmental justice and equity visible.

The formulation of images of the future is also a question of resources and ultimately of power. In relation to this there is a need for groups of society besides those in power to be encouraged to develop their images of the (sustainable, desired) future, and to give room for these in policy-making and planning. The openness of the future renders desirability and ethics, and not probability, the basis on which the feasibility of images of the future must be assessed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. 101 p.
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2012-09
futures studies, backcasting, planning, governance, sustainable development
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-94151 (URN)978-91-7501-361-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-06-05, E2, Lindstedtsvägen 3, KTH, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
SitCitICT as a motor for transition

QC 20120514

Available from: 2012-05-14 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2013-05-08Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Daniel K.Gustafsson, StinaWangel, JosefinHöjer, MattiasLundqvist, Per G.Svane, Örjan
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