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Cobenefits and Trade-Offs of Green and Clean Energy: Evidence from the Academic Literature and Asian Case Studies


  • Sovacool, Benajmin

    (Aarhus University)


This working paper assesses the positive cobenefits of promoting green and clean energy in Asia. It first defines what is meant by “clean” energy across the four technological systems of cooking, renewable electricity, energy efficiency, and urban transport. Then, drawn from a synthesis of peer-reviewed articles, it summarizes at least four general types of cobenefits of investing in these systems: (i) diversification and enhanced energy security, (ii) jobs and green growth, (iii) displaced pollution and associated cost savings, and (iv) enhanced resilience and adaptive capacity to things like climate change and natural disasters. It also offers some insight to possible challenges and trade-offs that must be managed when attempting to capture cobenefits. The paper then focuses on four case studies of cobenefits that have been delivered in practice: liquefied petroleum gas stoves in Indonesia, renewable electricity generation in the People’s Republic of China, energy efficiency in Japan, and mass transit in Singapore. The paper concludes with insights for energy analysts and policy makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Sovacool, Benajmin, 2016. "Cobenefits and Trade-Offs of Green and Clean Energy: Evidence from the Academic Literature and Asian Case Studies," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 502, Asian Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbewp:0502

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Mukherjee, Ishani, 2011. "Conceptualizing and measuring energy security: A synthesized approach," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 5343-5355.
    2. Valentine, Scott Victor, 2011. "Emerging symbiosis: Renewable energy and energy security," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 4572-4578.
    3. Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Saunders, Harry, 2014. "Competing policy packages and the complexity of energy security," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 641-651.
    4. Benjamin Sovacool, 2008. "The problem with the “portfolio approach” in American energy policy," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 41(3), pages 245-261, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richenda Van Leeuwen & Alex Evans & Besnik Hyseni, . "Increasing the Use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas in Cooking in Developing Countries," World Bank Other Operational Studies, The World Bank, number 26569, March.

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    climate; change;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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