The role of the power/efficiency misconception in the rebound effect's size debate: Does efficiency actually lead to a power enhancement?
AbstractThis paper addresses the question of whether the rebound effect's size is bigger or smaller than one. After a brief review of the related economic literature, a thermodynamic perspective tackles this topic by demonstrating that the dispute over the size of the rebound effect relies on a misconception of the thermodynamic nature of energy efficiency. The dichotomy, in fact, concerns the relationship between efficiency and power output rather than the scale of the economic side effects generated by energy efficiency mutations. Early intuitions of the dichotomy efficiency/power belong to the pioneering works of Stanley Jevons, in the field of economics, and Alfred Lotka in that of biology. Their findings are here approached using the basis of finite-time thermodynamics with a simple amendment, the addition of the time variable to the Carnot machinery. The model shows how a process of power maximization always leads to a sub-optimal efficiency level and additionally, that any efficiency improvement, in the context of low energy costs, will shift the power output of the machine instead of reducing energy consumption. A case study taken from the transport system is presented to elucidate this argument.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.
Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 9 (September)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Turner, Karen, 2012. "'Rebound' effects from increased energy efficiency: a time to pause and reflect," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2012-15, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
- Ruzzenenti, F. & Basosi, R., 2009. "Evaluation of the energy efficiency evolution in the European road freight transport sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 4079-4085, October.
- Oikonomou, V. & Becchis, F. & Steg, L. & Russolillo, D., 2009. "Energy saving and energy efficiency concepts for policy making," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4787-4796, November.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.