Can the composition of energy use in an expanding economy be altered by consumers' responses to technological change?

Turner, Karen and Figus, Gioele and Swales, John Kim and Ryan, Lisa and Lecca, Patrizio and McGregor, Peter (2019) Can the composition of energy use in an expanding economy be altered by consumers' responses to technological change? The Energy Journal, 40 (4). pp. 235-253. ISSN 1944-9089

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    Abstract

    Technological change is necessary for economies to grow and develop. This paper investigates how this technological change could be directed in order to simultaneously reduce carbon-intensive energy use and deliver a range of economic benefits. Using both partial and general equilibrium modelling we consider improvements in the efficiency in the delivery of electricity as an increasingly low carbon option in the UK. We demonstrate how linking this to policy action to assist and encourage households to substitute away from more carbon-intensive gas- to electricity-powered heating systems may change the composition of energy use, and implied emissions intensity, but not the level of the resulting economic expansion.