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Global EnergyIssues, Potentials, and Policy Implications$
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Paul Ekins, Mike Bradshaw, and Jim Watson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198719526

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719526.001.0001

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Technical, economic, social, and cultural perspectives on energy demand

Technical, economic, social, and cultural perspectives on energy demand

(p.125) 7 Technical, economic, social, and cultural perspectives on energy demand
Global Energy

Charlie Wilson

Kathryn Janda

Françoise Bartiaux

Mithra Moezzi

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a critical overview of technical, economic, social, and cultural aspects of energy demand. Comparative data from different countries show upward trends in both the efficiency and consumption of energy. These trends are dynamic and heterogeneous, both across and within nations. The role energy plays in society is complex and multifaceted. The chapter briefly explores explanations for energy demand from four different viewpoints, including a physical, technical, and economic model (PTEM), an energy services approach, social practice theories, and socio-technical transitions theory. Each approach provides a window onto a complex landscape, but none provide a complete explanation for historical trends, nor a comprehensive basis for predicting the future. The chapter concludes with a discussion of ‘energy needs’ and the difficulties that varying (and sometimes competing) explanations for energy demand pose for policymakers attempting to curb the detrimental effects of rising consumption.

Keywords:   energy demand, energy services, practice theories, transitions theory, energy needs, energy consumption, energy efficiency

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