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Energy efficiency: what has research delivered in the last 40 years?

Harry D. Saunders, Joyashree Roy (), Inês M.L. Azevedo, Debalina Chakravarty, Shyamasree Dasgupta, Stephane De La Rue Du Can, Angela Druckman, Roger Fouquet (), Michael Grubb (), Boqiang Lin (), Robert Lowe, Reinhard Madlener (), Daire M. McCoy, Luis Mundaca, Tadj Oreszczyn, Steve Sorrell, David Stern (), Kanako Tanaka and Taoyuan Wei

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: This article presents a critical assessment of 40 years of research that may be brought under the umbrella of energy efficiency, spanning different aggregations and domains-from individual producing and consuming agents to economy-wide effects to the role of innovation to the influence of policy. After 40 years of research, energy efficiency initiatives are generally perceived as highly effective. Innovation has contributed to lowering energy technology costs and increasing energy productivity. Energy efficiency programs in many cases have reduced energy use per unit of economic output and have been associated with net improvements in welfare, emission reductions, or both. Rebound effects at the macro level still warrant careful policy attention, as they may be nontrivial. Complexity of energy efficiency dynamics calls for further methodological and empirical advances, multidisciplinary approaches, and granular data at the service level for research in this field to be of greatest societal benefit.

Keywords: efficiency policy; energy efficiency; energy efficiency gap; energy intensity; public policy; Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and from the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) (ref. ES/R009708/1; UKRI/EPSRC under the Heat; Buildings; Digital and Flexibility Themes of the Centre for Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS) (ref. EP/R 035288/1). (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J01 R14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2021-10-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env and nep-reg
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 6, October, 2021, 46, pp. 135 - 165. ISSN: 1543-5938

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