چالش برای سیاست های انرژی انگلستان: چشم انداز جمعیت سالخورده در تدابیر صرفه جویی انرژی و مصرف آن
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|26243||2011||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 39, Issue 2, February 2011, Pages 782–789
With a focus on the residential sector, this paper explores the likelihood of the UK government meeting its energy targets. The paper contends that energy policy needs to take into account the interplay of four major factors: an ageing population of increasing diversity; a cultural inclination for older housing much of which is thermally inefficient; levels of fuel poverty; and the inexorable rise of consumer spending on leisure related services and goods. Decisions made by older households (both the poorer and the better off) may be critical to the success of energy policy. Among the better off the changing expectations of the baby boomers, with their predilection for consumption and travel, may have particular impact. The paper concludes that much of the reduction in carbon footprint made by older people’s choices in heating and insulation may be offset, not only by increasing domestic thermal comfort, but also potentially by increasing consumables in the home and other consumer lifestyle choices. What could be achieved at best, may be a shift in energy mix.
This paper explores the interplay between two of the major issues of our times: climate change and demographic ageing, both of which pose challenges to societies at all levels from the global to the regional and local. This paper considers how, in the UK, the drive to reduce carbon emissions may be threatened by the choices of older people. In the UK three main sectors account for almost 80% of all end user green house gases: business, transport and the residential sector. It is significant for both transport and housing sectors that achieving climate change targets rests as much on individuals making “right choices” as governments creating sound policy and markets supplying appropriate products. This paper focuses in the main on the residential sector, which contributes 27% of carbon emissions in the UK from the stock of 22 million dwellings (Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2010a). The significance of the residential sector is captured in UK energy policies that have a dual goal of ending fuel poverty and tackling climate change. The Labour government’s 2001 (DTI, 2001) strategy on fuel poverty aimed to eradicate this in the UK by 2018 targeting, firstly, households of vulnerable people (older people, those with limiting illness or disabilities, and those with young children). Although the European Union targets a 20% reduction of global emissions by 2020, the UK’s 2008 Climate Act legally binds it to make a 34% cut in emissions by 2020, and at least 80% reductions by 2050 (based on 1990 levels). This is to be achieved through investments in energy efficiency measures in the built environment and its energy supply systems, clean energy technologies such as renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage. There is also an aspiration to source 15% of the energy demand from renewable sources. The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan (2009) asserts the need for ‘a bigger, smarter electricity grid’, which endorses industry plans to increase grid capacity and improve its performance to enable renewables to be connected. There is no mention, however, of possibly increased electricity consumption due to the demand for white goods and leisure goods. To educate the public on their energy consumption, the government proposes to roll out energy metering to all houses by 2020. To incentivise households to increase the use of renewables in their homes for hot water and electricity generation, a ‘Feed-in tariff’ has been introduced from 1st of April 2010, which pays four times more for every kWh fed into the grid than its cost if supplied to the property from the grid. The new UK Coalition government has committed itself to establishing a full system of feed-in tariffs in electricity (HM Government, 2010). In this paper we argue that the targets on carbon emissions and fuel poverty are challenged by four main factors that, if not taken into account, may lead to possible policy failure. These are an old and thermally inefficient housing stock which is nevertheless socially valued; the prevalence and severity of fuel poverty; the inexorable rise of consumption of leisure related services and goods including health and mobility assistive technologies. In all of these the role of older people is a critical factor. The paper turns firstly to a discussion of demographic change and the interplay between ageing and housing and ageing and consumer spending. It then explores the condition of the UK housing stock, before discussing fuel poverty and the policies in place to tackle it.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Older people are not only a growing proportion of the population but an increasing percentage of householders and home owners. Almost 30% of all households are already headed by someone over retirement age. Older people will make up 48% of the increase in new households by 2026 with this figure reaching as high as 90% in some areas. 68% of householders aged 65 and over owned their own home in 2001, and this is projected to rise to 75% by 2026 (DCLG and DWP, 2008, .29). They are also the group most likely to be under-occupying three and four bedroom dwellings as couples or single people (DCLG and DWP, 2008). A raft of policy drivers are creating a normative view that the home is the best place for people to age which is underpinned by repeated waves of research among older people themselves. It is therefore appropriate to look first at the domestic arena when considering the energy consumption of older people. We have argued that real reductions in fuel poverty for many older households are unlikely. New figures reveal that, while rising incomes and improvements in the energy efficiency of housing continue to help households from falling into fuel poverty and in some cases have removed households from fuel poverty, 250,000 more older people’s households are now in fuel poverty compared to 2009 (DECC, 2010b). This is largely due to escalating fuel prices that are forecast to increase still further in the near future. There is also clear evidence that increased insulation leads to higher or similar fuel use as perceptions of comfort change so there is little saving in environmental terms. Without greater investment by government in energy saving measures and either a curb on fuel prices or an increase in pensions or fuel allowances this trend seems unlikely to be reversed. In the current austere economic times, these measures seem improbable. It may be argued that over time the percentage of older people who have occupational pensions will increase thus solving much of the problem but pensions have been damaged by global financial instability and those who have been low wage earners or been made redundant in mid life may have little in the pension pot. The paper has also demonstrated increasing wealth diversity among the retired. Statistical evidence suggests the “younger-old” and those taking early retirement in their fifties are high consumers of leisure goods and services, including long haul air travel consumption. Predictions for the baby boomer cohort retiring in 2010 are for a high spending generation looking to invest in their leisure time whether in the home or on holidays in the UK and abroad. The decisions made by this cohort may be fundamental to the success or failure of not only national but global climate change policies. O’Neill et al. (2010) suggest that there are two forces playing out that may reduce or drive up global emissions. Urbanisation in the global south is built on economic growth and increases emissions while the global issue of ageing, which is linked to both declining fertility and shrinking labour force, is lowering emissions. However, and pertinent to the argument presented in this paper, it is also the case that fertility decline that leads to demographic shift is linked to increased prosperity that has led many countries to `affluenza` (see Lloyd, 2007, for a thoughtful discussion of this new global disease) which, it is forecast, may not cured by age. The concept of the greedy baby boomers is firmly established in the public imagination, but could this be different? Wright and Lund (2000) suggested that instead of focusing on an ageing society we should consider the need for an inter-generational focus that promotes the concept of stewardship. Reisch (2001) concurs but adds that changes in consumption are perceive as unattractive; while Lloyd (2007) states that unless changes are globally agreed and acted upon they simply buy some time and “make some of us feel good”(Lloyd, 2007, p. 5810) but do not solve the climate change problem. Reisch (2001) advises thinking of new models of wealth that centre on well being and wealth in time rather than goods. This chimes with thinkers back to Easterlin (1974) who asserted that once earnings reach a level of comfort and competence there is no appreciable increase in life satisfaction or happiness. In recent times this finding has moved beyond the level of individual and nation to mesh with holistic concepts of sustainable development that suggest human flourishing, in all its dimensions, has been sacrificed in our drive toward greater growth. Our forecasts are for the greedy baby boomers but could the generation that marched against wars and for equality become the enlightened cohort that creates change.