Energy efficiency in Europe: trends, convergence and policy effectiveness
This paper analyses energy efficiency in the EU, both in terms of reductions in energy intensity and in terms of physical indicators, looking at the differences among sectors and among Member States. We test econometrically the existence of convergence in energy intensity across Europe. We find a sensible catching–up of less performing countries, particularly in the agricultural and in the industrial sectors. Against this background, we analyse the role played by energy policies in EU Member States and we identify the most effective classes of policies and measures by means of a panel analysis of the EU-15 and Norway. It turns out that, in the residential sector, energy efficiency is particularly affected by heating regulations, by subsidies as well as tax reductions; in the transport sector, effective policies are tax reductions, incentives to eliminate old and polluting cars, car sharing, commuter plan and traffic management; in the industrial sector, mandatory technology standards, financing at low interest rate, information activities, education and outreach proved to be effective.
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- Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Martin Carree & Luuk Klomp, 1997. "Testing The Convergence Hypothesis: A Comment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 683-686, November.
- Nazrul Islam, 2003. "What have We Learnt from the Convergence Debate?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 309-362, 07.
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