IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The economics of energy efficiency: barriers to profitable investments


  • Schleich, Joachim

    () (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Karlsruhe, Germany)


Improving energy efficiency is seen as a core strategy for a sustainable energy system, because it may contribute to cost savings for companies and private households, cost-effectively reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, increases security of supply for required energy services. The thrust of engineering-economic analyses suggests that there is a large potential for energy efficiency measures that are also profitable, but - because of barriers to energy efficiency - are not being adopted. This paper presents a taxonomy of these barriers, distinguishing between barriers that would warrant policy intervention and those that do not. As a case study, barriers to energy efficiency in the German higher education sector and measures to overcome those barriers are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Schleich, Joachim, 2007. "The economics of energy efficiency: barriers to profitable investments," EIB Papers 10/2007, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:eibpap:2007_010

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arestis, Philip & Demetriades, Panicos O, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Assessing the Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 783-799, May.
    2. Inês Cabral & Frank Dierick & Jukka Vesala, 2002. "Banking integration in the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 06, European Central Bank.
    3. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Competition in the Changing World of Banking," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 535-547.
    4. Mariassunta Giannetti & Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula & Marco Pagano, 2002. "Financial Market Integration, Corporate Financing and Economic Growth," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 179, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    5. Heinemann, Friedrich & Jopp, Mathias, 2002. "The benefits of a working European Retail Market for financial services: Report to European Financial Services Round Table," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 110486.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Legge, Thomas & Scott, Susan, 2009. "Policy Options to Reduce Ireland's GHG Emissions [Instrument choice: the pros and cons of alternative policy instruments]," Papers WP284, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. Morgenroth, Edgar & FitzGerald, John & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Productive Sector," Book Chapters,in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013, chapter 20, pages 257-277 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    3. García-Gusano, Diego & Espegren, Kari & Lind, Arne & Kirkengen, Martin, 2016. "The role of the discount rates in energy systems optimisation models," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 56-72.
    4. Morgenroth, Edgar & FitzGerald, John & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Summary and Conclusions," Book Chapters,in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013, chapter 24, pages 317-333 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
      • Baker, Terence J. & FitzGerald, John & Honohan, Patrick & FitzGerald, John & Honohan, Patrick, 1996. "Summary and Conclusions," Book Chapters,in: Baker, Terence J. (ed.), Economic Implications for Ireland of EMU, chapter 12, pages 339-352 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. Blass, Vered & Corbett, Charles J. & Delmas, Magali A. & Muthulingam, Suresh, 2014. "Top management and the adoption of energy efficiency practices: Evidence from small and medium-sized manufacturing firms in the US," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 560-571.
    6. FitzGerald, John & Keeney, Mary J. & McCarthy, Niamh & O'Malley, Eoin & Scott, Susan, 2005. "Aspects of Irish Energy Policy," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS57.
    7. Julia Hertin & Frans Berkhout & Marcus Wagner & Daniel Tyteca, 2004. "Are 'soft' policy instruments effective? The link between environmental management systems and the environmental performance of companies," SPRU Working Paper Series 124, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.

    More about this item


    Energy efficiency; barriers; energy policy;

    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q49 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Other

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:ris:eibpap:2007_010. 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: (Polyxeni Kanelliadou). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.