5.3 Steering demand

The DEMAND programme (and especially Themes 3 and 4) confronts basic questions about how evolving patterns of energy demand could and should be steered, and by whom. If demand is constituted by social practices, one implication is that purposeful steering involves far more than acting in energy and mobility domains alone. It follows that there are many possible points of intervention. The primary purpose of this integrative project is to identify these forms of influence, critically examining the parts that state and nonstate actors can play (singularly and in combination) in shaping energy demand trajectories. This is a necessary step if we are to assess how future escalations in demand might be countered and how effective demand reduction strategies might be fashioned. Reinterpretation of stakeholder interviews and data from Themes 2-4 will allow us to tackle key questions about the governance of energy demand: where does the power to intervene lie, what are the possibilities and limits of partnership and cross-sectoral coordination and what are the practical and political tensions involved in defining, negotiating and moving towards a radically lower carbon society in a context of competing priorities and contemporary inequalities? We will develop and extend concepts of reflexive governance, applying them to transitions in demand and practice, and learning from international experience of ambitious demand management strategies as in Germany/Japan.