IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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

  • Turner, Karen
Registered author(s):

    In recent years there has been extensive debate in the energy economics and policy literature on the likely impacts of improvements in energy efficiency. This debate has focussed on the notion of rebound effects. Rebound effects occur when improvements in energy efficiency actually stimulate the direct and indirect demand for energy in production and/or consumption. This phenomenon occurs through the impact of the increased efficiency on the effective, or implicit, price of energy. If demand is stimulated in this way, the anticipated reduction in energy use, and the consequent environmental benefits, will be partially or possibly even more than wholly (in the case of ‘backfire’ effects) offset. A recent report published by the UK House of Lords identifies rebound effects as a plausible explanation as to why recent improvements in energy efficiency in the UK have not translated to reductions in energy demand at the macroeconomic level, but calls for empirical investigation of the factors that govern the extent of such effects. Undoubtedly the single most important conclusion of recent analysis in the UK, led by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) is that the extent of rebound and backfire effects is always and everywhere an empirical issue. It is simply not possible to determine the degree of rebound and backfire from theoretical considerations alone, notwithstanding the claims of some contributors to the debate. In particular, theoretical analysis cannot rule out backfire. Nor, strictly, can theoretical considerations alone rule out the other limiting case, of zero rebound, that a narrow engineering approach would imply. In this paper we use a computable general equilibrium (CGE) framework to investigate the conditions under which rebound effects may occur in the Scottish regional and UK national economies. Previous work has suggested that rebound effects will occur even where key elasticities of substitution in production are set close to zero. Here, we carry out a systematic sensitivity analysis, where we gradually introduce relative price sensitivity into the system, focusing in particular on elasticities of substitution in production and trade parameters, in order to determine conditions under which rebound effects become a likely outcome. We find that, while there is positive pressure for rebound effects even where (direct and indirect) demand for energy is very price inelastic, this may be partially or wholly offset by negative income and disinvestment effects, which also occur in response to falling energy prices.

    If 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.

    File URL: http://repo.sire.ac.uk/handle/10943/33
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2008-20.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:33
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 31 Buccleuch Place, EH8 9JT, Edinburgh
    Phone: +44(0)1316508361
    Fax: +44(0)1316504514
    Web page: http://www.sire.ac.uk
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:33. 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: (Gina Reddie)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.