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Energy Rebound Due to Re-spending. A Growing Concern

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  • Miklós Antal
  • Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

Abstract

Energy conservation is widely accepted as an important strategy to combat climate change. It can, nevertheless, stimulate new energy uses that partly offset the original savings. This is known as rebound. One particular rebound mechanism is re-spending of money savings associated with energy savings on energy intensive goods or services. We calculate the average magnitude of this "re-spending rebound" for different fuels and countries. We find that emerging economies, neglected in past studies, typically have substantially larger rebounds than OECD countries. The effect is generally stronger for gasoline than for natural gas and electricity. Paradoxically, strengthening financial incentives to conserve energy tends to increase rebound. This is expected to gain importance with climate regulation and peak oil. We discuss the policy implications of our findings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by WIFO in its series WIFO Working Papers with number 463.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: 18 Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2014:i:463

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Keywords: rebound effect; re-spending; emerging economies;

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  1. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: A supply side approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 19638, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Webster, Mort & Paltsev, Sergey & Reilly, John, 2008. "Autonomous efficiency improvement or income elasticity of energy demand: Does it matter?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2785-2798, November.
  3. Sorrell, Steve, 2009. "Jevons' Paradox revisited: The evidence for backfire from improved energy efficiency," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1456-1469, April.
  4. Jeroen Bergh, 2011. "Energy Conservation More Effective With Rebound Policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(1), pages 43-58, January.
  5. Schipper, Lee & Grubb, Michael, 2000. "On the rebound? Feedback between energy intensities and energy uses in IEA countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 367-388, June.
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