انرژی و رشد اقتصادی: زمین درک ما در واقعیت فیزیکی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|12133||2008||5 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||3970 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 36, Issue 12, December 2008, Pages 4600–4604
This article attempts to summarise the complex, wide ranging and unresolved debate within the economics literature on the possibility of decoupling economic growth from energy use. It explores the difference between neo-classical and ecological economic worldviews and highlights how the ecological economic approach attempts to ground its analysis within the physical limits implied by the laws of thermodynamics. Once these laws are accounted for, the possibility of decoupling economic growth from energy use seems more limited than neo-classical economics implies. Analysis of empirical evidence also demonstrates that observed improvements in GDP/energy use ratios in the USA are better explained by shifts towards higher quality fuels than by improvements in the energy efficiency of technologies. This implies a need to focus on decarbonising energy supply. Furthermore, where energy-efficiency improvements are attempted, they must be considered within the context of a possible rebound effect, which implies that net economy-wide energy savings from energy-efficiency improvements may not be as large as the energy saved directly from the efficiency improvement itself. Both decarbonising energy supply and improving energy efficiency require the rapid development and deployment of new and existing low-carbon technologies. This review therefore concludes by briefly outlining areas of economic thought that have emerged as a result of engagement between economists and experts from other disciplines. They include ecological, evolutionary and institutional economics, all of which can make policy-relevant contributions to achieving a transition to a low-carbon economy.
Sustained economic growth is a mantra for governments worldwide and is seen as having a key role to play in poverty alleviation. But economic activity is predominantly linked to the use of energy, principally from fossil fuels, which account for over 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This implies an urgent need to decouple economic growth from energy use. This review provides an overview of our current understanding of the relationship between energy use and economic growth. This understanding is fraught with controversy, particularly between neo-classical and ecological economic viewpoints (Sorrell and Dimitropoulos, 2007). Here I focus on the implications of the difference between neo-classical and ecological economic understandings. I begin by exploring the differences between neo-classical and ecological economic worldviews and the implied relationship between energy and economic growth, before exploring some empirical evidence on decoupling and the implications of the ‘rebound effect’. I conclude by briefly outlining relevant emerging areas of economic thought that have policy-relevant contributions to make towards achieving a transition to a low-carbon economy.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
There is a distinct and unresolved divide between neo-classical and ecological economists as to how to treat the contribution of energy to economic growth, with ecological economists arguing that the neo-classical worldview fails to account for the physical limits implied by the laws of thermodynamics. If the ecological economics worldview holds, the potential for decoupling energy from economic growth may be limited. Sufficient empirical evidence does not yet exist to provide conclusive support for the claims of either the ecological or neo-classical schools of thought. Breaking down the evidence that does exist suggests that observed improvements in GDP/energy use ratios may be better explained by shifts towards higher quality fuels than by improvements in the energy efficiency of technologies. Furthermore, the potential contribution of energy-efficiency measures to reducing the energy intensity of economic activity is affected by the existence of rebound effects. Bearing in mind the uncertainty of existing theoretical and empirical insights into the potential for decoupling energy from economic growth, it would seem prudent to focus on decarbonising energy supplies. This will require renewed effort within existing disciplines to engage in a multidisciplinary context with promising new areas of economic thought, including emerging insights from the ecological, evolutionary and institutional economics literatures. When and to what extent these insights might yield real impacts is dependent on the extent to which such interdisciplinary research is recognised, supported and applied in policy.