Strategic Design Framework towards sustained reduction of residential electricity consumption in Emerging Market Economies: the case of Brazil and China
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Energy is considered by the United Nations as central to sustainable development and poverty reduction affecting all its aspects - social, economic, and environmental - including livelihoods, access to water, agricultural productivity, health, population levels, education, and gender-related issues. As such, energy can be seen as a positive stimulus for sustainable development. However, it is expected that the world population will increase from 6 billion to 9 billion people in 2025. In parallel, a large part of the world population is moving from poverty to middle class. This combination of an increase of population and income may lead to a remarkable rise in purchase of consumer electronic products and consequently energy consumption.
If changing efforts are not taken, the increase in residential energy consumption in emerging economies will bring the world to severe environmental and social problems such as greenhouse effect, lack of access to affordable energy resources and air pollution. If kept the usual track for growth, the environmental or economic crisis is still to come. To have a numerical reference, Lomborg (2007) states that the developing world that now responds annually for about 40% the global carbon emissions, is likely produce 75% by the end of the century.
The main question addressed by this research project is “How to reduce the energy consumption of consumer products by residential consumers in emerging economies by means of product alterations (hardware) and change in consumer behaviour (software)”. From this perspective at first instance for BRICs, exemplified by Brazil and China (large emerging market economies), a literature research was carried out after the current and expected increase of residential energy consumption. In parallel, present actions to reduce energy consumption were mapped and critically analysed. The final outcome is a strategic conceptual framework that integrate the actors and drivers of consumption to design energy efficient products in promotion of energy efficient (hardware) and contextualized behaviour (software) in order to reduce residential electricity consumption in emerging economies.