IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v120y2015icp23-31.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The ICT/electronics question: Structural change and the rebound effect

Author

Listed:
  • Galvin, Ray

Abstract

ICT and related electronic appliances consumed 4% of global electrical energy in 2007, growing to 4.7% in 2012, with projections of continued increase in coming decades. This is despite an average annual increase in energy efficiency of about 30% in ICT/electronics throughout the last 5 decades. Mainstream studies of energy-related rebound effects have yet to produce a conceptual framework that adequately encapsulates a unique feature of ICT/electronics: its tendency to induce changes in social practice and socio-technical structures. This study attempts to fill this gap. Surveying rebound effect literature, it builds on studies which explore ‘transformational’ change caused by energy efficiency increases. It identifies structural changes in business, education, the military and households caused by energy efficiency increases in ICT/electronics, which lead to a proliferation of ICT/electronic devices and consequently increased energy consumption. It shows the cause-and-effect logic between energy efficiency and energy consumption in ICT/electronics, and tentatively estimates rebound effects ranging between 115% and 161% in eight diverse empirical examples. The history of ICT/electronics shows that energy efficiency increases inevitably lead to increases in energy consumption, hence firm controls on CO2e emission allowances may offer the best hope of curbing energy consumption and CO2e emissions in this sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Galvin, Ray, 2015. "The ICT/electronics question: Structural change and the rebound effect," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 23-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:120:y:2015:i:c:p:23-31
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.08.020
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800915300112
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brookes, Len, 1990. "The greenhouse effect: the fallacies in the energy efficiency solution," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 199-201, March.
    2. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-361, May.
    3. Chitnis, Mona & Sorrell, Steve & Druckman, Angela & Firth, Steven K. & Jackson, Tim, 2013. "Turning lights into flights: Estimating direct and indirect rebound effects for UK households," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 234-250.
    4. Mundaca, Luis & Román, Rocio & Cansino, José M., 2015. "Towards a Green Energy Economy? A macroeconomic-climate evaluation of Sweden’s CO2 emissions," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 196-209.
    5. Yu, Biying & Zhang, Junyi & Fujiwara, Akimasa, 2013. "Evaluating the direct and indirect rebound effects in household energy consumption behavior: A case study of Beijing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 441-453.
    6. Berry, Linda & Hirst, Eric, 1983. "Evaluating utility residential energy conservation programmes: an overview of an EPRI workshop," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 77-81, March.
    7. Barker, Terry & Ekins, Paul & Foxon, Tim, 2007. "The macro-economic rebound effect and the UK economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 4935-4946, October.
    8. Frédéric Dobruszkes, 2009. "New Europe, new low-cost air services," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/95851, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Patterson, Murray G, 1996. "What is energy efficiency? : Concepts, indicators and methodological issues," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 377-390, May.
    10. Sorrell, Steve & Dimitropoulos, John & Sommerville, Matt, 2009. "Empirical estimates of the direct rebound effect: A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1356-1371, April.
    11. Ewan SUTHERLAND, 2009. "Climate Change: the Contribution of Telecommunications," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(76), pages 61-76, 4th quart.
    12. J. Daniel Khazzoom, 1980. "Economic Implications of Mandated Efficiency in Standards for Household Appliances," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 21-40.
    13. Ruzzenenti, F. & Basosi, R., 2008. "The rebound effect: An evolutionary perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 526-537, November.
    14. Druckman, Angela & Chitnis, Mona & Sorrell, Steve & Jackson, Tim, 2011. "Missing carbon reductions? Exploring rebound and backfire effects in UK households," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3572-3581, June.
    15. A. Greening, Lorna & Greene, David L. & Difiglio, Carmen, 2000. "Energy efficiency and consumption -- the rebound effect -- a survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 389-401, June.
    16. repec:eee:jotrge:v:17:y:2009:i:6:p:423-432 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Saunders, Harry D., 2013. "Historical evidence for energy efficiency rebound in 30 US sectors and a toolkit for rebound analysts," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 80(7), pages 1317-1330.
    18. Ruzzenenti, F. & Basosi, R., 2008. "The role of the power/efficiency misconception in the rebound effect's size debate: Does efficiency actually lead to a power enhancement?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 3626-3632, September.
    19. Sorrell, Steve & Dimitropoulos, John, 2008. "The rebound effect: Microeconomic definitions, limitations and extensions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 636-649, April.
    20. Galvin, Ray, 2014. "Estimating broad-brush rebound effects for household energy consumption in the EU 28 countries and Norway: some policy implications of Odyssee data," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 323-332.
    21. Moyer, Jonathan D. & Hughes, Barry B., 2012. "ICTs: Do they contribute to increased carbon emissions?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 79(5), pages 919-931.
    22. Harty D. Saunders, 1992. "The Khazzoom-Brookes Postulate and Neoclassical Growth," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 131-148.
    23. Alcott, Blake, 2005. "Jevons' paradox," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 9-21, July.
    24. Berkhout, Peter H. G. & Muskens, Jos C. & W. Velthuijsen, Jan, 2000. "Defining the rebound effect," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 425-432, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ruzzenenti, Franco & Basosi, Riccardo, 2017. "Modelling the rebound effect with network theory: An insight into the European freight transport sector," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 272-283.
    2. Galvin, Ray, 2016. "Rebound effects from speed and acceleration in electric and internal combustion engine cars: An empirical and conceptual investigation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 207-216.
    3. Galvin, Ray & Sunikka-Blank, Minna, 2016. "Quantification of (p)rebound effects in retrofit policies – Why does it matter?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 415-424.
    4. repec:eee:energy:v:151:y:2018:i:c:p:748-759 is not listed on IDEAS

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:120:y:2015:i:c:p:23-31. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.