Energy Efficiency Vision 2050: How will new societal trends influence future energy demand in the European countries?
New societal trends are unfolding, such as digitalization, sharing economy and consumer awareness. They will
highly influence future energy demand and, depending on their realization, enhance or counteract projected
energy efficiency gains. Therefore, these trends have to be accompanied by policies with a strong focus on
reducing energy demand (including Energy Efficiency First). This work analyzes quantitatively for all sectors
how New Societal Trends interact with energy efficiency (policies).
An extensive consultation with European experts identified 12 new societal trends that are likely to shape
future energy demand. Based on these, four energy demand scenarios were developed for 2050. Using literature
review and expert consultations, the impacts on all sectors were evaluated taking these trends explicitly into
account. The results show that New Societal Trends can have a crucial impact on future energy demand beyond
mere techno-economic potentials. In the best case scenario, “New Trends Efficient”, they can reduce final energy
demand by 67% compared to the EU “Baseline” scenario in 2050. While in the “Worst Case” scenario, they could
increase final energy demand by 40%.
This paper opens up the discussion on how New Societal Trends will shape future energy demand and emphasizes the crucial role of policy-making therein.