Building a database for energy sufficiency policies

F1000Res. 2022 Feb 24;11:229. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.108822.2. eCollection 2022.


Sufficiency measures are potentially decisive for the decarbonisation of energy systems but rarely considered in energy policy and modelling. Just as efficiency and renewable energies, the diffusion of demand-side solutions to climate change also relies on policy-making. Our extensive literature review of European and national sufficiency policies fills a gap in existing databases. We present almost 300 policy instruments clustered into relevant categories and publish them as "Energy Sufficiency Policy Database". This paper provides a description of the data clustering, the set-up of the database and an analysis of the policy instruments. A key insight is that sufficiency policy includes much more than bans of products or information tools leaving the responsibility to individuals. It is a comprehensive instrument mix of all policy types, not only enabling sufficiency action, but also reducing currently existing barriers. A policy database can serve as a good starting point for policy recommendations and modelling, further research is needed on barriers and demand-reduction potentials of sufficiency policy instruments.

Keywords: behavioural change; energy demand; energy descent; policy database; socio-ecological transformation; sufficiency policy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Climate Change*
  • Humans
  • Policy
  • Renewable Energy*

Grant support

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project “EnSu - Energy Sufficiency in Energy Transition and Society” within the framework of the Strategy „Research for Sustainability" (FONA) as part of its Social-Ecological Research funding priority, funding nos. [01UU2004A, 01UU2004B, 01UU2004C]. Responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors.