Can a combination of efficiency initiatives give us "good" rebound effects?

Sarasa, Cristina and Turner, Karen (2021) Can a combination of efficiency initiatives give us "good" rebound effects? Energy, 235. 121335. ISSN 1873-6785

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    Abstract

    The increasing depletion of natural resources, combined with a wider set of pressures on the environment, has, in recent years, highlighted the need for a more efficient use of energy and a development process that involves alternative energy sources. Energy efficiency has received much attention as a solution, implying both monetary and emissions savings. However, the latter may be partially offset by the income and demand effects of the former, both in more efficient sectors and in spreading to the wider economy. This is the problem of rebound effects. Taking Spain as a case study, and introducing an energy-related CGE model that develops the inclusion of renewables, this paper evaluates a combination of efficiency initiatives to deliver both reduced energy use by households and a more sustainable supply of energy. Our findings suggest that a package aimed at improving efficiency in household electricity and petroleum use, combined with a more competitive supply of energy from renewable sources, may be the only way to get reductions in all energy use, and thus benefit the economy. Specifically, we consider how this package may lead to positive economic impacts and associated rebound effects, where the latter are focused on a greener energy supply.