Energy Demand changes Induced by Technological and Social innovations (EDITS) network

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. 

 © IIASA

© 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.

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:

EDITS 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 variables
WG 3-Narratives Empirical grounding, LED-driven narrative
WG 3-Complementarity Protocol 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.

Current and past activities

·  EDITS was kick-started at the virtual Expert Dialogue in December 2020. 

·  IIASA-RITE International Workshop in 2019: Towards improved understanding, concepts, policies and models of energy demand

·  IIASA-RITE Workshop in 2018: Rethinking Energy Demand 

Activities in 2021:

  • Quarterly online working meetings
  • Research organized in seven Working Groups
  • Annual Meeting on 9-10 December 2021

How to join

As of November 2021, 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 (). 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 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.



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Last edited: 01 December 2021

CONTACT DETAILS

Bas van Ruijven

Research Group Leader and Senior Research Scholar Sustainable Service Systems Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Senior Research Scholar Integrated Assessment and Climate Change Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Senior Research Scholar Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 288

Benigna Boza-Kiss

Research Scholar Sustainable Service Systems Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Research Scholar Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 496

Keywan Riahi

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Integrated Assessment and Climate Change Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Pollution Management Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Sustainable Service Systems Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 491

Arnulf Grubler

Emeritus Research Scholar Sustainable Service Systems Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Emeritus Research Scholar Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 470

Related events

EDITS Annual meeting, 9-10 Dec.

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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