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Does energy efficiency save energy? The debate and its consequences

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  • Herring, Horace
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    Abstract

    This paper considers the debate in the UK and the USA on some economists' claims that improving energy efficiency will lead to a greater energy consumption (than would have otherwise occurred), a concept termed the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate. It analyses the criticisms of this claim and of the responses, particularly of the concept of [`]dematerialization'. The paper attempts to tackle the paucity of empirical evidence in the UK by looking at long-term trends in efficiency and use with respect to UK public lighting. Finally, it focuses on the views of two economists, namely Len Brookes and William Rees, who both accept the postulate but have differing views and policies on measures to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Brookes believes in free-market solutions, whereas Rees puts forward a vision of a sustainable future based on ecological tax-reform and reafforestation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Applied Energy.

    Volume (Year): 63 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 209-226

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:63:y:1999:i:3:p:209-226

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    Related research

    Keywords: Energy efficiency Ecological economics Khazzoom-Brookes postulate;

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    Cited by:
    1. Tolón-Becerra, A. & Lastra-Bravo, X. & Botta, G.F., 2010. "Methodological proposal for territorial distribution of the percentage reduction in gross inland energy consumption according to the EU energy policy strategic goal," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7093-7105, November.
    2. Hanley, Nicholas & Turner, Karen, 2010. "Energy Efficiency, Rebound Effects and the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2010-17, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    3. De, Fence Janine & Hanley, Nicholas & Turner, Karen, 2009. "Do productivity improvements move us along the environmental Kuznets C urve?," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2009-02, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    4. Michael Huesemann & Joyce Huesemann, 2008. "Will progress in science and technology avert or accelerate global collapse? A critical analysis and policy recommendations," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 10(6), pages 787-825, December.
    5. Karen Turner, 2008. "A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis of the Relative Price Sensitivity Required to Induce Rebound Effects in Response to an Improvement in Energy Efficiency in the UK Economy," Working Papers 0807, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    6. Hanley, Nick & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, J. Kim & Turner, Karen, 2009. "Do increases in energy efficiency improve environmental quality and sustainability?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 692-709, January.
    7. Sam Anson, 2009. "Rebound and disinvestment effects in oil consumption and supply resulting from an increase in energy efficiency in the Scottish commercial transport sector," Working Papers 0901, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    8. Turner, Karen, 2009. "Negative rebound and disinvestment effects in response to an improvement in energy efficiency in the UK economy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 648-666, September.
    9. Martinaitis, Vytautas & Kazakevicius, Eduardas & Vitkauskas, Aloyzas, 2007. "A two-factor method for appraising building renovation and energy efficiency improvement projects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 192-201, January.
    10. Cui, Cathy Xin & Ha, Soo Jung & Hanley, Nicholas & McGregor, Peter G & Turner, Karen & Yin, Ya Ping, 2011. "Productivity Growth, Decoupling and Pollution Leakage," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2011-13, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    11. Chang, Tzu-Pu & Hu, Jin-Li, 2010. "Total-factor energy productivity growth, technical progress, and efficiency change: An empirical study of China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(10), pages 3262-3270, October.
    12. Jesús Ramos Martín, 2003. "Intensidad energética de la economía española: una perspectiva integrada," UHE Working papers 2003_08, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
    13. Anson, Sam & Turner, Karen, 2009. "Rebound and disinvestment effects in refined oil consumption and supply resulting from an increase in energy efficiency in the Scottish commercial transport sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3608-3620, September.

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