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Can the Composition of Energy Use in an Expanding Economy be Altered by Consumers’ Responses to Technological Change?

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.

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Keywords: Technological change; CGE models; multiple benefits; rebound

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.4.ktur

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Published in Volume 40, Number 4 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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