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Towards a Sustainable Spatial Organization of the Energy System: Backcasting Experiences from Austria

Author

Listed:
  • Petra Wächter

    () (Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Strohgasse 45/5, 1030 Vienna, Austria)

  • Michael Ornetzeder

    () (Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Strohgasse 45/5, 1030 Vienna, Austria)

  • Harald Rohracher

    () (Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture, Schlögelgasse 2, 8010 Graz, Austria)

  • Anna Schreuer

    () (Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture, Schlögelgasse 2, 8010 Graz, Austria)

  • Markus Knoflacher

    () (Austrian Institute of Technology, Donau-City-Straße 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria)

Abstract

The transition to a sustainable energy system faces more challenges than a simple replacement of fossil energy sources by renewable ones. Since current structures do not favor sustainable energy generation and use, it is indispensable to change the existing infrastructure. A fundamental change of the energy system also requires re-organizing spatial structures and their respective institutions and governance structures. Especially in Austria, urban sprawl and unsustainable settlement structures are regarded as one of the main developments leading to increased energy demand. One of the aims within the project E-Trans 2050 was to identify socio-economic constellations that are central to the further transformation of the energy system and to focus on actors and their socio-technical framework conditions. Based on a sustainable future vision for the year 2050 a backcasting workshop was conducted to identify necessary steps for the envisaged transition to a more sustainable energy system. The results shed light on the necessary changes for a transformation towards sustainability in the specific Austrian situation. Critical issues are region-specific production of energy and its use, settlement and regional structures and values and role models, which all have a determining influence on energy demand. Combining the knowledge of extensive energy use with available energy resources in spatial planning decisions is a main challenge towards a long term sustainable energy system.

Suggested Citation

  • Petra Wächter & Michael Ornetzeder & Harald Rohracher & Anna Schreuer & Markus Knoflacher, 2012. "Towards a Sustainable Spatial Organization of the Energy System: Backcasting Experiences from Austria," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(2), pages 1-17, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:193-209:d:15929
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bin, Shui & Dowlatabadi, Hadi, 2005. "Consumer lifestyle approach to US energy use and the related CO2 emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 197-208, January.
    2. Ornetzeder, Michael & Hertwich, Edgar G. & Hubacek, Klaus & Korytarova, Katarina & Haas, Willi, 2008. "The environmental effect of car-free housing: A case in Vienna," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 516-530, April.
    3. Pierre Filion, 2001. "Suburban mixed-use centres and urban dispersion: what difference do they make?," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 33(1), pages 141-160, January.
    4. Graymore, Michelle L.M. & Sipe, Neil G. & Rickson, Roy E., 2008. "Regional sustainability: How useful are current tools of sustainability assessment at the regional scale?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 362-372, October.
    5. Poumanyvong, Phetkeo & Kaneko, Shinji, 2010. "Does urbanization lead to less energy use and lower CO2 emissions? A cross-country analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 434-444, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Koirala, Binod Prasad & Koliou, Elta & Friege, Jonas & Hakvoort, Rudi A. & Herder, Paulien M., 2016. "Energetic communities for community energy: A review of key issues and trends shaping integrated community energy systems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 722-744.
    2. Lucas, Hugo & Fifita, Solomone & Talab, Ilham & Marschel, Cornelia & Cabeza, Luisa F., 2017. "Critical challenges and capacity building needs for renewable energy deployment in Pacific Small Island Developing States (Pacific SIDS)," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 42-52.
    3. Hecher, Maria & Vilsmaier, Ulli & Akhavan, Roya & Binder, Claudia R., 2016. "An integrative analysis of energy transitions in energy regions: A case study of ökoEnergieland in Austria," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 40-53.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainable energy system; spatial organization; backcasting; energy transition;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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