The EDITS network brings together experts of various disciplines to regularly discuss about and engage in the multi-faceted energy demand research. The EDITS community works together based on common interest in interlinked topics, on transferring methodological knowledge, and on exploring modeling innovations across demand-side models. 

EDITS project © IIASA

Background

EDITS (short for Energy Demand changes Induced by Technological and Social innovations) is based on the seminal work of IIASA and partners on the Low Energy Demand (LED) scenario, that was published in 2018 in Nature Energy (Grubler et al. 2018) with ample supplementary information, and updates including the quantifications for water demand (Parkinson et al. 2018). LED entered into a plethora of global scenarios that could meet the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C by 2100, but others relied on negative emissions technologies. On the contrary, LED relies on shrinking the energy system through major lifestyle, behaviour, infrastructure, and business model transformations, resulting not only in a reduction of global energy use by 40% in 2050 compared to today, but also gains on equity and the SDGs.

The higher the demand, the earlier, the more stringent, and the more costly climate mitigation will have to be. Conversely, lower demands increase the temporal flexibility of climate mitigation and reduce the stringency and costs of mitigation actions, thus also reducing the risks of SDG tradeoffs.

LED is a global scenario, and calls for insights on the regional and national aspects have been received. Furthermore, assessing variations of LED and identifying practical solutions towards reaching the energy transition based on energy demand transformation is also desirable.

EDITS goals

Levels and structure of energy and resource demands are increasingly recognized as key critical determinants of feasibility, timing, and costs of climate mitigation actions and their SDG synergies and tradeoffs. EDITS undertakes a deeper understanding of demand-driven energy system change, at global and granular levels.

The aim of the experts and researchers forming the EDITS network is to identify gaps and potentials to enhance modeling, analyzing, and communicating the demand-side solutions for climate mitigation and the SDGs.

Energy and resource demands themselves are intermediary variables, and it is the services and amenities that the use of energy and other resources provides. The efficiency of resource use and the efficiency of alternative service provision models thus moves into center stage of climate mitigation from a demand, or end-use perspective.

Because of the high heterogeneity of consumers and the multitude of demand types (food, shelter, mobility, communication, etc.) the theoretical understanding and modeling of “demand” (outside aggregated simplistic formulation) remains limited and fragmented, as are resulting capabilities to propose and to assess demand-side policy interventions from the twin angle of climate mitigation as well as of promoting the SDGs.

Watch a summary of EDITS here.

EDITS working methods

EDITS focuses on enhancing both the human and the technical resources of demand side research and policy support by operating an expert network and a demand-side model complementarity exercise. 

Work in EDITS is organized around plenary meetings and research activities in Working Groups. EDITS is formed into seven Working Groups:

Working Group Topic
WG 1-Buildings Buildings sectoral modelling
WG 1-Transport Transport sectoral modelling
WG 1-Industry Industry/materials modelling
WG 2-Data Data and parameters
WG 3-Narratives Empirical grounding, updated LED-driven narrative
WG 3-Complementarity Protocol Model complementarity protocol development
WG 3-Synthesis Synthesis of results

Sectoral analyses:

EDITS reviews current practices, gaps and potentials in empirical research and demand-side modeling across three demand sectors: buildings, transport and industry. The work is extended to identifying interlinkages across sectors along a low energy demand future, as well as understanding the implications of cross-cutting aspects (such as digitalization, inequalities, energy access, decent living standards) for the sectors. 

Model complementarity exercise:

Demand-side models have different goals, granularity and focus. Therefore their direct comparison does not offer the scientific insights into alternative LED-based scenarios. Instead, these models have a high potential to be linked together, and answer common questions jointly. Therefore, a complementary exercise is carried out to represent a revised, more granular LED narrative. This revised narrative is also developed within the scope of EDITS, and special focus is given to digitalization, heterogeneity, and innovation. 

Energy demand data:

United efforts on data collection and identification within EDITS are expected to lead to a comprehensive, easy-to-use data catalogue, as well as to increased communication and sharing practices among EDITS members. 

Meetings:

The core of EDITS is the discussion and thinking together. Therefore, EDITS members meet on a regular basis. An Annual Plenary is held every year to give space for lively discussions on frontrunner ideas and research topics. Quarterly meetings are held every 3-4 months, where discussions are linked to the current work of the Working Groups.

Outreach and interaction with other communities:

EDITS is based on a lot of innovation and understanding. Therefore, it is core that the network is exposed to other ideas and vica versa.

  • The EDITS-ARTS Competition called for submissions to imagine "life in 2050 with much less energy" into art. The pre-selected 16 artists met the EDITS Community online on a Friday afternoon, 20 May 2022, and the Evaluation Committee found all submissions unique and highly valuable and it was an extreme challenge to select the winner.
    • The winner of the first prize is Futuregram2050, who created a powerful portray of a positive transformative future and has clearly adhered to the three evaluation criteria. The Committee appreciated the compelling narrative that presents a balance between having access to modern technologies and services, using modern digital solutions, while at the same time also willing to limit their demand.
      • Watch their video here.
    • The Committee found three other submissions stand out in how they pictured a low energy future, although they did not fully meet all criteria, therefore they were awarded special mention: Eiven Mitchell, Mai Nusir, and The Art and Energy Collective.
    • Special thanks go to the Evaluation Committee for their dedication, engagement and hard work, namely Keigo Akimoto, RITE; Joyee S. Chatterjee, AIT-EDITS; Poornima Kumar, CSTEP/University of Oxford; Masa Sugiyama, Uni Tokyo; Elena Verdolini, University of Brescia and RFF-CMCC; Charlie Wilson, University of Oxford; Caroline Zimm, IIASA.

Webinars are announced through social media and our networks.

  • The first EDITS webinar was co-organized by IIASA and CMCC on 5th July 2022, presented by Nuno Bento: Promoting better lives is good for climate: Potential co-benefits of digital convergence and sharing in consumer goods. The recording can be found at this link.
  • The second webinar is co-organized by IIASA and CMCC on 15th September 2022, presented by Stefan Pauliuk: Reductions in material production induced by demand-side strategies: Implications for sustainable development. Register here.
  • The next webinar is expected to be held at the end of 2022.

Policy impact:

  • EDITS was present at UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow, on 11. November 2021. The event information and the presentations can be accessed here.
  • EDITS met European policy makers at the ECEEE Conference in France in June 2022.
  • EDITS participates in the preparations of the G7 in Japan in 2023.
  • A UNFCCC side-event "High level services with low resource demand for low-carbon pathways and the SDGs" is co-organized by EDITS at COP27 on 10. Nov. 2022, 16:45-18:15 (EET): For more information and agenda, go here.
  • A side-event "High well-being with low energy demand towards the modern net-zero society" will be held in the Japanese Pavilion at the UNFCCC COP27 on 17. Nov. 2022, 10:30-12:00 (EET). For more information and agenda, go here.

Upcoming activities

  • The next Annual Meeting is foreseen to be held in September 2023
  • Quarterly online working meetings: next meeting is planned for 6-7 December 2022.
  • Research organized in seven Working Groups

Past activities:

Related past activities and projects:

  • IIASA-RITE International Workshop in 2019: Towards improved understanding, concepts, policies and models of energy demand
  • IIASA-RITE Workshop in 2018: Rethinking Energy Demand 

How to join

As of January 2022, EDITS has 115 members. EDITS membership is by invitation only.

If you would like to join or would like to suggest new member(s), please send an email to Benigna Boza-Kiss (bozakiss@iiasa.ac.at). Note that joining organizations are expected to submit a one-pager to describe their energy demand related research agenda and how it relates to the work in EDITS (template at request).

EDITS project © IIASA

EDITS network members

Acknowledgements

The Energy Demand changes Induced by Technological and Social innovations (EDITS) project is an initiative coordinated by the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and funded by Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), Japan.

Events