Energy footprint found to be reduced by the alternative community lifestyle
Solar panel installation in the Errekaleor neighborhood in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Credit: Txo / Wikimedia

A study conducted by the UPV/EHU’s Ekopol and Life Cycle Thinking groups concludes that an alternative community lifestyle can reduce energy consumption due to the significance of the energy used in the goods and services consumed. Specifically, they have estimated that the energy footprint per inhabitant of the Errekaleor neighborhood (in Vitoria-Gasteiz) is 24% lower than the regional average.

The global transformation towards renewable, fair, democratic energy systems entails identifying the energy needs of citizens and taking the different lifestyles and consumption patterns of citizens into consideration. “The unlimited consumption model of today’s society has already led to a crisis in energy and resources. So the need to reduce energy consumption in the countries of the Global North cannot be denied,” say the members of the UPV/EHU’s Ekopol and Life Cycle Thinking research groups.

Achieving this reduction requires the use of appropriate indicators or means to measure and compare energy consumption. To quantify global energy consumption and a country’s consumption, the total primary energy supply is calculated using data provided by the International Energy Agency: total primary energy consumed in a country (including households, transport, industry and services). “But,” as Dr. Estitxu Villamor highlights, “this indicator fails to take into account hidden energy flows, in other words, energy imported from other countries in the form of goods and services.”

However, the energy footprint takes into account not only the total primary energy that has to be allocated to each country, but also the hidden energy flows, in other words, “the energy that is allocated to a producing country even though the goods may be consumed in another country.” According to the researchers, this indicator is crucial in “making a real diagnosis of a country’s energy consumption and, therefore, in designing energy transition policies.”

An innovative methodology

The UPV/EHU researchers have used the Input-Output methodology for the first time to calculate the energy footprint on a regional (ACBC) and local level (the Errekaleor neighborhood in Vitoria-Gasteiz, which is the largest off-grid community in the Basque Country).

It has thus been shown, firstly, that the methodology is appropriate for calculating energy footprints on a neighborhood, regional, community or even state level; secondly, that the energy footprint provides us in today’s globalized era with a more accurate measurement of energy consumption patterns; and, finally, that the alternative community lifestyle generates a lower energy footprint.

The results show that “although the energy consumed in the homes of the Errekaleor inhabitants (4.46 MWh per inhabitant per year) is, on average, 32% and 15% higher than that of the population of the ACBC and Spain, respectively, the energy footprint of the Errekaleor inhabitants (31.10 MWh per inhabitant per year) is, on average, lower than that of the inhabitants of the ACBC and Spain by 14% and 24% respectively.”

This difference is due to the indirect consumption of energy embedded in products and services, which accounts for 81% of the total primary energy footprint in Spain, 75% in the ACBC and 66% in Errekaleor.

According to the researchers, “this shows that the main drivers of the energy footprint are related to what an individual actually consumes.” In this regard, it should be highlighted that the electricity from the Errekaleor off-grid photovoltaic system contributes only 0.6% to the neighborhood’s total energy footprint.

Finally, the researchers found that within the neighborhood itself, “different types of housing lead to big differences in the energy footprint: people living in families have a 33.5% lower footprint than those living alone (28.45 MWh per inhabitant per year compared with 42.79 MWh).”

The research concludes that people living alone in Errekaleor have, on average, a higher energy footprint than the inhabitants of the Basque Autonomous Community.

The work is published in the journal Sustainable Production and Consumption.

More information: Estitxu Villamor et al, Global Multi-Regional Input-Output methodology reveals lower energy footprint in an alternative community project, Sustainable Production and Consumption (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.spc.2022.09.003

Provided by University of the Basque Country

Citation: Energy footprint found to be reduced by the alternative community lifestyle (2022, December 6) retrieved 6 December 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-12-energy-footprint-alternative-community-lifestyle.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

NEWS RELATED

TikTok’s chief executive to testify before Congress in March

The chief executive of TikTok, Chew Shou Zi, has agreed to testify to Congress in March on the video app’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party, it was announced Monday. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican of Washington, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee said that Chew would ...

View more: TikTok’s chief executive to testify before Congress in March

Honda retains lead in motorcycle market

Thai Honda Co, a manufacturer and distributor of Honda motorcycles, has maintained its top rank in Thailand's motorcycle market for the 34th consecutive year, with sales standing at 1.38 million units in 2022. Honda motorcycles were ranked number one in all segments, covering the family, automatic (AT) and sports ...

View more: Honda retains lead in motorcycle market

Head of Australian Antarctic Division to step down

The head of the Australian Antarctic Division has announced his resignation ahead of the finalisation of a review into workplace culture. Kim Ellis, who took up the role in 2019, has announced his retirement, the division said on Tuesday. It is reported Mr Ellis will step down in coming ...

View more: Head of Australian Antarctic Division to step down

STYLE Edit: Meet Lilou Wadoux, Ferrari’s first female Competizioni GT driver with Richard Mille Racing Team, who will ride the Ferrari 488 GTE with the AF Corse team in March

Richard Mille Racing Team protégé Lilou Wadoux is set to become the first female Ferrari Competizioni GT driver at Le Mans. The 21-year-old French woman from Amiens will join the starting grid at the wheel of the Ferrari 488 GTE with the AF Corse team, hoping to make a ...

View more: STYLE Edit: Meet Lilou Wadoux, Ferrari’s first female Competizioni GT driver with Richard Mille Racing Team, who will ride the Ferrari 488 GTE with the AF Corse team in March

ChatGPT-connected companies like BuzzFeed see stock volume surges in enthusiasm over OpenAI

Companies tied to artificial intelligence services recorded some of their highest trading volumes on record this month, amid a frenzy of interest in the ChatGPT tool, which generates conversation-style interactions. BuzzFeed Inc, C3.ai Inc, SoundHound AI Inc, and BigBear.ai Holdings Inc are among the stocks that have all seen ...

View more: ChatGPT-connected companies like BuzzFeed see stock volume surges in enthusiasm over OpenAI

Can you teach a computer common sense?

Dr. Yejin Choi University of Washington Professor and MacArthur Fellow, works to improve AI’s understanding of common sense. John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation hide caption toggle caption John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation The first time Short Wave co-host Emily Kwong ever “spoke” to a computer ...

View more: Can you teach a computer common sense?

New cancer treatment found ‘promising’ for terminally ill dogs

A new therapy to treat late-stage cancer in dogs can not only extend the lives of canines but also preserve “good quality of life”, according to a new study that may also lead to improved treatments for some cancers that affect humans. The research, published recently in the journal ...

View more: New cancer treatment found ‘promising’ for terminally ill dogs

Cryptocurrency entrepreneur and Huobi adviser Justin Sun plans move to Hong Kong while talking up China market

Chinese cryptocurrency personality Justin Sun said he is planning to move to Hong Kong, where the government recently announced new policies to attract virtual asset businesses, and talked up the potential of China’s crypto industry, while the global industry remains in a slump after the collapse of FTX. “China’s ...

View more: Cryptocurrency entrepreneur and Huobi adviser Justin Sun plans move to Hong Kong while talking up China market

Obesity can trigger Alzheimer’s symptoms, new study suggests

Watch distant worlds dance around their sun: Stunning timelapse shows exoplanets orbiting their star 133 light-years away from Earth

A mysterious flying spiral above Hawaiian night sky likely caused by SpaceX launch

Bring back the dodo bird? Ambitious plan draws investors, critics

Glowing material may cut out internal stitches

Xiaomi looks to improve decision-making with new governance bodies in wake of management reshuffles, slumping sales

Mars shines bright in night sky as it vanishes behind moon

Dolphins and humans can team up to go fishing. Scientists now understand why.

EPA blocks mine project that threatened crucial Alaskan salmon runs

China’s Henan province, home to the world’s largest iPhone factory, pushes US$7 billion digital infrastructure expansion programme

Giant sea scorpion species discovered in New Mexico

Five healthy digital habits It's not too late to make resolutions that will make your digital life safer and more convenient, say Kaspersky experts

OTHER NEWS