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The Long Run Demand for Energy Services and Energy Transitions

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  • UserDr Roger Fouquet, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • ClockWednesday 17 October 2018, 16:00-17:00
  • HouseMill Lane Lecture Room 4.

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A better understanding of what drives energy services is essential because it drives the demand for energy and, in the long run, the role of efficiency (rather than energy price fluctuations) dominates the level of energy service prices. The paper presents evidence that income and price elasticities (as well as rebound effects) vary with income levels, following an inverse U-shape as an economy develops. These led to dramatic increases in the net benefits to consumers associated with the transformations in society and lifestyles that mobility and illumination provided between 1850 and 1950, and more recently for communication. Due to saturation effects of the demand for certain energy services, future technological developments and energy transitions may benefit consumers (though not necessarily society as a whole) less than those in the past.

Roger Fouquet is Associate Professorial Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He investigates the changing relationships between economic development, energy use and its environmental impacts, with an emphasis on drawing lessons from economic history to provide a long run perspective on energy and climate change issues. In 2006, his joint article was chosen for the Campbell Watkins Award for Best Paper in The Energy Journal. In 2010, his book, ‘Heat, Power and Light’, was selected by Choice Magazine as one of its Outstanding Academic Titles. He is the editor of the Handbook on Energy and Climate Change, and the volume of the International Library of Critical Writings on The Economics of Renewable Energy.

This talk is part of the Land Economy Departmental Seminar Series series.

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