Read all about it – important new publications

  • New JRC report ­– Prosumerism and energy sustainability

This report from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre develops a sociotechnical understanding of energy prosumerism to investigate how energy prosumerism can lead to actual reductions of energy and resource demand. The report starts out by explaining what a sociotechnical and broad understanding of prosumerism means. Thereafter, the report summarises already existing research on energy social science and humanities relating to renewable energy generation, domestic energy use, and energy communities. The report then delves into the matter of energy sustainability by explicating the concept of sufficiency and achieving actual reductions instead of continued escalations of energy use. The report concludes with the main findings that a broader and more nuanced understanding of energy prosumerism can provide a novel conceptualisation relating to energy provision and everyday life that can lead to future reductions in energy use, as well as a more multifaceted policy response that moves away from business as usual and towards more variegated and radical propositions for achieving sustainable energy use in the future.

The report can be downloaded here.

  • Important article – Air pollution and CO2 from daily mobility: Who emits and Why? Evidence from Paris

Urban road transport is an important source of local pollution and carbon emissions. Designing effective and fair policies tackling these externalities requires understanding who contributes to emissions today. We estimate individual transport-induced pollution footprints combining a travel demand survey from the Paris area with NOx, PM2.5 and CO2 emission factors. We find that the top 20% emitters contribute 75%–85% of emissions on a representative weekday. They combine longer distances travelled, a high car modal share and, especially for local pollutants, a higher emission intensity of car trips. Living in the suburbs, being a man and being employed are the most important characteristics associated with top emissions. Among the employed, those commuting from suburbs to suburbs, working at a factory, with atypical working hours or with a manual, shopkeeping or top executive occupation are more likely to be top emitters. Finally, policies targeting local pollution may be more regressive than those targeting CO2 emissions, due to the different correlation between income and the local pollutant vs. CO2 emission intensity of car trips.

The article was written by Marion Leroutier and Philippe Quirion.

The article is available here.




2 thoughts on “Read all about it – important new publications

  1. I will preface what follows with the comment that JRC reports are a bit like the curates egg – sometimes the stuff is very good, sometimes it is utter rubbish. Sadly the latter applies in the case of this report. Reading through it, I started to give up the will to live by page 18. The overall approach is
    Very much jack-n-jill stuff. I waited in vain to find something new or original.

    Page 22 & the discussion on “blockchain” was pathetic – applying distributed ledger to low value products (electricity) makes no sense – thus the discussion was one about transient techno fashions (blockchain) – rather than something substantive – e.g. how to account for electricity use and generation in an energy community. Other phrases were bandied around “smart living” – looking out of the office window yet another imbecile passes in a 4×4 – doubtless imagining they are engaged in “smart living”.

    In fairness Section 4.1 discusses Energy Communities. A small factlet might help provide some perspective. The UK government plans to telescope off-shore wind permitting down to 1 year. A 2MW on-shore wind turbine permit for a community will by contrast take at least 2 years, possibly 3. The JRC could usefully have discussed government’s war against citizens in respect of energy and its ownership. They didn’t – instead painting a quasi rosy picture.

    Page 33 – profiles of energy communities mostly describe communities that play within existing market rules, ECO Power in Belgium is a case in point. There is an abyss between EU rhetoric on communities and the reality: a community being able to quickly and easily install various renewables and storage that collectively gets them most of the way to 100% energy independence. The reason they can’t do this is due 100% to governments – who don’t want them to do this since it would disintermediate the energy mafia – generators and networks – who have the lobbies to make sure that the dumb & dumber politicos do what they want, not what is in the interest of citizens.

    Page 41: smart meters – needed for real time monitoring of energy flows – they are as cheap as chips – if a community lacks them, they are easy enough and cheap enough to fit (as a supplement to the fiscal meter). But no, JRC thinks this is a central gov role. Pathetic.

    1. Mike, Thanks so much for this. The report had just come in and I did not have a chance to look at it. I definitely will now. I worry when JRC — or anyone — put out such reports

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