Energy Sufficiency

Research focused on Energy Sufficiency

The research focus energy sufficiency takes a look at moderation, the absolute reduction of energy consumption through social innovations, through the exit from non-sustainable structures and through changed behavior. The basis of our work is the thesis that without sufficiency it is not possible to meet the climate target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, even if planetary boundaries are respected and climate justice is considered at the same time. In this context, we understand sufficiency as an "enough" in two directions: An enough in terms of meeting human needs, the social foundation, on the one hand, and on the other hand an enough in terms of abundance, which makes it impossible to comply with planetary boundaries.

In order to unfold sufficiency potentials, to bring their positive effects to bear and to keep their potential negative effects as low as possible, appropriate framework conditions are needed that enable each individual to live in a resource-conserving way while maintaining a good quality of life. Political and societal frameworks are needed that make the sufficiency-based, climate-friendly, resource-conserving, environmentally friendly option the more attractive one.

Against this background, we design sufficiency scenarios and explore the potentials of sufficiency in terms of reducing energy demand and emissions, as well as its potentials in terms of climate justice, resource use and quality of life. In doing so, we also consider sufficiency in interaction with the sustainability options of consistency (renewables replacing fossils) and efficiency (relative reduction of consumption through technical options) in climate and energy scenarios.

An important part of our research work is the description of impact chains of sufficiency policies in order to be able to assess effects of various policy measures on local, federal, state and EU level.

In our research we use quantitative and qualitative methods. In line with the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, we work in an interdisciplinary manner, together with political scientists and social scientists (including the Norbert Elias Center (NEC)). To ensure the practical relevance of our research, we work transdisciplinarily with various practice partners, because the societal benefit and applicability of our work is our top priority.

The research focus on energy sufficiency is handled by Prof. Dr. Frauke Wiese, Luisa Cordroch, Bendix Vogel and Jonas Lage (NEC). The coordination is done by Prof. Dr. Frauke Wiese.