Article: Dynamics of Energy Demand: change, rhythm and synchronicity

Walker, G. (2014) ‘Dynamics of Energy Demand: change, rhythm and synchronicity’ Energy and Social Science Research, 1(1),

Abstract: This paper lays out the relevance of the investigation of the underlying social dynamics and temporalities of energy demand for energy and social science research.  Elements of a distinctive approach to researching the dynamics of energy demand are outlined, starting from the observation that demand is an outcome of what energy is for. Energy demand, it is argued, is a product of the vast array of interwoven social practices out of which the ordering of society is made. It is therefore necessary to understand how temporal patterns are already embedded in the social world in order to follow how energy use changes and varies over time. Three forms or categories of dynamic are discussed – change, rhythm and synchronicity – each providing a different way of approaching the relation between time, social practice and energy demand. In the course of discussion the increasing relevance of temporal patterning to both supply and demand-side policy and practice is made clear. In concluding further scope for a broadening of time-focused energy demand research is identified.

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