An innovative approach for estimating energy demand and supply to inform local energy transitions
Ó Gallachóir, Brian P.
Byrne, Edmond P.
A vital first step for regional energy transitions is to develop an understanding of the current energy balance and related carbon dioxide emissions. However, there is a lack of clarity within existing literature on how best to determine a complete regional energy balance including industry, residential, services, agriculture, and transport sectors. This paper identifies four key limitations in the literature: overreliance on simple population-based proportioning, a narrow focus on building energy, subsequent omission of transport energy in the majority of studies and a lack of transparency in a significant number of studies. This paper proposes a novel conceptual framework to address these gaps using a combination of local energy usage indicators and national unit energy consumption statistics. The authors apply this multi-dimensional approach to a rural case study region, carefully examining the range of energy usage indicators in each sector before selecting the most suitable. The results quantitatively demonstrate the value of this approach, with the final energy demand in some sectors varying by as much as double or threefold compared with a population weighting. Focusing on the socio-economic drivers of energy demand in this manner provides useful insights into the local context that defines the energy system.
City scale , System , Communities , Level , Potentials , Decisions , Regions , Context , Autarky , Cities
McGookin, C., Ó Gallachóir, B. P. and Byrne, E. P. (2021) 'An innovative approach for estimating energy demand and supply to inform local energy transitions', Energy, 229, 120731, (12pp). doi: 10.1016/j.energy.2021.120731