Contributors: Wächter, Petra, Dr. (Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Scientific paper contribution 1: Energy technologies and their impact on a degrowth society
Abstract: Energy as the basis for daily activities on an individual level and for economic activities on a societal level gives fundamental importance to our lives. Individual decisions on the consumption of goods and services not only determine the energy use but also have impacts on the overall performance of economic structures. As economists point out energy use and economic growth are mutually connected any change in energy consumption patterns influences the economic system of a society. The paper wants to draw the attention on individual innovations in the daily energy practice. More concrete, two examples of the field are further explored: one deals with practices related to space by analyzing possibilities that multifunctional settlements offer in the organisation of less energy intensive practices such as food cooperatives etc. The other example focuses on the demand side of energy by analyzing do-it-yourself examples of individual energy production such as self-made windmills. These two examples show that daily organisation of lives has large potentials for the shaping of energy and degrowth transitions.
Scientific paper contribution: Components of the energy system for a degrowth transformation
Abstract: Energy use in the context of degrowth goes beyond the claim for dematerialization and energy efficiency improvements. Although we can observe a decoupling of energy from growth in the past decade, absolute energy consumption is still increasing worldwide. Energy efficiency improvements are not sufficient to overcome an exploitation of energy resources and enhance the rebound-effect to even more energy consumption. Components that have to be considered for a successful change of the energy system include energy technologies, policy framework, behavioural changes, changes of institutional settings, and system dynamics. Critical issues in the field of energy technologies may cover governing large infrastructure systems for energy supply when using renewable energy sources or the self-organisation of energy supply by enforcing the self-construction of energy technologies. As these critical issues and componenets are interrelated with each other and other areas a deeper look is indispensable . This gives the possibility to detect new relationships between the areas of transition and also to gain knowledge about favouring and hindering factors for the transformative process