Energy conservation policies

Energy conservation policies

Communications Energy conservation policies An increased efficiency of energy use, often equated with increased conservation, is widely believed to be...

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Communications Energy conservation policies An increased efficiency of energy use, often equated with increased conservation, is widely believed to be an important factor in constraining consumption of fossil fuels in the light of fears of global warming. This mistaken belief is founded on the fall in energy-GDP ratios observed since 1973, interpreted as a decoupling of energy from economic growth. Energy conservation is only one of a number of factors contributing to this fall. In general, increasing efficiency of use will lead to reduced costs, which in turn promotes a greater usage. If global warming is to be taken seriously, restnctions on fossil fuel consumption may have to be imposed, by measures such as the carbon tax proposed by the International Energy Agency. Keywords: Energy conservation; Energy efficiency; Energy-GDP ratio In the last decades there have been expressions of concern that continuing economic growth and the associated increasing production of goods and consumption of energy will lead to the exhaustion of known resources, a contention that has, however, been vigorously disputed, l More recently attention has focused on the threat of damage to the environment, highlighted for instance in the 'Bruntland report', which argues 'that a more rapidly growing world economy will apply environmental pressures that are no more sustainable than the pressures presented by growing poverty' .2 These e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n c e r n s are now strongly reinforced by the suspicion that fossil fuel combustion may contribute to g l o b a l c l i m a t e warming, through the 'greenhouse' effect. The fear of environmental damage has renewed the argument on the value of continued economic growth, with calls for changes in social attitudes, behaviour and aspirations. The possibility of a threat to the environment has not only brought about a greater awareness of the problem, but it has introduced an ethical or moral element into the argument. Excessive or wasteful consumption and associated pollution which it causes is sinful; frugality is a virtue. But there appears to be some reluctance to accept that this would necessarily require a reduced consumption of goods and services. The concern is directed more towards the energy which is used in the production process, as well as in

ENERGY POLICY April 1990

households. Few governments or political parties, apart from the Green movements, seek to restrain the production of goods and services or urge that the usable life of goods should be extended; indeed most actively seek to promote increases in production as a means of reducing u n e m p l o y m e n t levels. Almost all, however, call for reductions in the growth of energy consumption. 3 We want the consumption but would like to believe that it can be continued with a reduced energy input. It is then generally argued that this restraint on energy growth can be achieved by improving the efficiency of energy use and reducing energy losses, under the broad heading of energy conservation. This leads to claims that energy consumption can be 'decoupled' from economic growth to give the comforting illusion that economic growth can be continued by making a given amount of energy go further. Moves towards energy conservation were greatly strengthened by the oil price rises in 1973 and 1979, which ended an era of cheap energy and also brought home to public and governments alike the vital role of energy in economic development and the often undue dependence of many countries on imported oil. A whole range of government-backed programmes were introduced to encourage consumers to adopt energy conservation measures, particularly those which would reduce oil consumption. These included information, energy audits, financial in-

centives, demonstration programmes, energy labelling, and the adoption of energy-efficient regulations and standards. Special bodies were formed to promote these activities. In the UK, for instance, there is now an industrial group, the Association for the Conservation of Energy, as well as the government's Energy Efficiency Office. All this activity has required significant government expenditure. In West Germany the peak expenditure on energy conservation amounted to 110 million E u r o p e a n currency units (MECU) in 1981, but has since declined. In the U K it was almost 12 M E C U in 1986-87. 4 The success of energy conservation, or 'improving the rational use of energy', is usually measured in terms of improved 'energy intensity' or 'energy efficiency', seen as a reduction in the final energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product - the energyG D P ratio. 5 A n d when over the period 1973-82 most countries were able to show reductions of around 20% in the energy-GDP ratio, this was understandably, given the political, financial and intellectual commitment to energy conservation, hailed as a triumph of the energy conservation measures that had been introduced following the first oil price rise in 1973. T h e E u r o p e a n C o m m u n i t y Council of Energy Ministers meeting in 1986 not only applauded the fall in the e n e r g y - G D P ratio but unanimously adopted a resolution that called for a further 20% reduction in the 'efficiency of final energy demand' in the next ten years to 1995. This measure of so-called 'energy efficiency' is, however, a ratio which can be influenced by a change in either factor. The oil price rises which triggered the energy conservation response will themselves have brought about a substantial fall in the energyG D P ratio. To the extent that such part of the increased energy cost, which could not be absorbed by industry and commerce and was passed on to customers as a price increase, would work through as an increase in added value, it would appear as an increase in GDP, and so reduce the ratio. This effect will of course act in the opposite direction with a fall in oil prices. It is then no surprise that in the

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period 1982-86, when oil prices in US$ fell by a factor of over three, the trend of a falling energy-GDP ratio slowed to 2.4% for the European Community as a whole, with some countries even recording increases Germany up by 0.3%, Netherlands up by 4.3%, Belgium up by 2.1%, and Ireland up by 13% .6 But the more fundamental misconception is that a change in the energyGDP ratio gives an indication of the efficiency of energy use. It does not. It merely illustrates changes in the use to which energy is put in a society, and these uses can change quite independently of any change in the actual efficiency with which energy is used. There are at least six factors which could effect the energy-GDP ratio. 1. Structural changes within society which have, for many countries, led to a decline in industrial production, for which the energyG D P ratio would be high, and a rise in the service sector, for which the ratio would be lower. Steel and shipbuilding, for instance, use much more energy per unit of GDP produced than banking, insurance or the tourist industry. In the UK the former have declined, the latter have increased. 2. Product changes within the different sectors of manufacturing industry lead to a concentration on more specialized products of higher added value, and for which the energy-GDP ratio would be lower than for bulk products. A chemical industry may turn to high-price pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals rather than basic chemicals. Engineering and metal fabrication may concentrate more on complex, sophisticated machinery rather than metal bashing; electrical engineering on small-scale electronic 'chips' rather than heavy electrical equipment. To the extent that these changes have taken place, the e n e r g y - G D P ratio would fall. 3. Technological changes in industry and commerce, such as the introduction of automation and computer-controlled techniques in manufacture, and the computerization of commerce to increase

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productivity, would all contribute to reductions in the energy-GDP ratio. 4. One effect of the increasing share of final energy consumption which is taken by electricity will be to increase GDP, since electricity is more costly than the fossil fuels it displaces. This will then reduce the energy-GDP ratio. For the European Community the share of electricity as a percentage of final energy went up from about 11% to 17% over the period 1973--86. 5. For the UK a major factor has been the increasing production of North Sea oil and gas. Between 1975 and 1985 its contribution to G D P increased from near zero to 6.6%. Yet the oil and gas are landed 'free' of any energy cost. 6. Finally there is energy conservation itself- deliberate attempts to reduce energy consumption; in some cases by seeking improved efficiency of use; in others by making do with less. Improved insulation, reductions in indoor temperatures, 'switch it off' campaigns, etc. It should also be noted that the energy-GDP ratio would not take account of indirect energy imports. With the changes noted in 1 and 2 above, most of the industrialized countries have increased imports of manufactured and semi-manufactured products of high energy content motor vehicles, ships, raw steel, bulk chemicals etc - from the newly industrializing countries. These indirect energy imports would not appear in national energy accounts. Since 1973 imports into the O E C D of manufactures from developing countries rose from $16 billion to almost $100 billion in 1985. If imports from Japan are also included the total import of manufactures into the rest of the O E C D was almost $250 billion in 1985. If the energy content is, as a rough assumption taken as 5% of the value, this indirect energy import would correspond to some 3% of total final O E C D energy consumption. It is not obvious that all the trends noted above are desirable in the broader social interest. Some attempt should be made to try to understand

how they have come about and to explore the full consequences if they continue, rather than uncritically adopting an energy policy directed, as if it were a virtue in its own right, to reducing the energy-GDP ratio by a further 20% by 1995. If this were the overriding aim for the EC it could quite easily be achieved by accelerating the decline of all energy-intensive industries - steel and other metals, shipbuilding, paper and pulp, etc while continuing to import these products from the newly industrializing countries.

Oil conservation Possibly because of the political attention which the OPEC oil price rises drew down upon themselves, energy conservation has sometimes been identified with oil conservation. Most conservation measures were directed specifically towards reducing oil consumption as a means of reducing dependence on imported oil. The European Commission points to the 'success' of its policies in reducing the share of oil in gross energy consumption of the 12 Common Market countries (EUR-12) from 63% in 1973 to 47% in 1986, and a continuing fall to 40% has been adopted as a target for 1995. 7 For the Community the decrease in oil consumption since has largely been brought about, not by conservation but by substitution. Oil, for some uses, has been replaced by electricity and natural gas. Since 1973 the reduction of 132 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) in oil consumption has been balanced by an increase of 116 mtoe in consumption of primary electricity (almost entirely due to the increase in nuclear power, at 113 mtoe) and a 70 mtoe increase for natural gas. The contribution of solid fuel r e m a i n s u n c h a n g e d . These changes have taken place against a small increase of 5% (54 mtoe) in gross energy consumption (see Table 1).

Electricity consumption There is a striking contrast between energy and electricity in terms of final energy use. Over the same 1973-86

ENERGY POLICY April 1990

Communications Table 1. Changes in energy consumption for the EEC-12 (in mtoe). Energy source

1973

Oil Primary electricity (of which nuclear) Solid fuels

474 150 (132) 187 232

Total primary energy

989

1043

Natural gas

period which saw a fall of 20% in final energy consumption per unit of GDP, the electricity-GDP ratio rose steeply for most countries. From an index of 100 in 1973, the ratio had risen by 1986 to, for instance, 137 in Sweden, 132 in France and 129 in Denmark. The UK is an exception in that the electricityG D P ratio fell to 91, but even here this is above the e n e r g y - G D P ratio, which fell to 78. The changes in e n e r g y - G D P and e l e c t r i c i t y - G D P ratios for Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and the U K are illustrated in Figure 1. 8 The e n e r g y - G D P curves for all four countries show relatively steeper falls after the 1973 and 1979 oil price rises, followed in each case by a levelDenmark

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+116 (+113) +70 +54

ling off with the reduction in oil prices. This emphasizes the fallacy of using a fall in the ratio to G D P as an indicator of increasing efficiency of use. It would obviously be wrong to assume that in those countries where the electricity-GDP ratio has increased electricity is being used more inefficiently. The increasing use of electricity has more to do with the substitution of oil. Electricity

conservation

With the growing share of electricity in final energy consumption, increasing attention is being given to electricity conservation. The European ComSweden

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mission for instance has proposed a 'Community Action Programme for improving the efficiency of electricity use'.9 The Commission starts from the observation that if electricity use in 1987 had been reduced by 5%, equivalent to 6.75 mtoe, the reduction in primary fuels used for electricity generation would have been some 2.7 times more, at 18.4 mtoe, because of the losses in generation. From this they argue that 'savings in electricity correspond to still greater savings in primary energy demand'. This is of course indisputable (but only for electricity generated by burning fossil fuels - not for nuclear, hydro or wind power). No consideration is given to the possibility that because energy, when used as electricity, tends to be used much more efficiently, the end result of increasing electricity usage could be to reduce the primary energy requirement. It is obviously sensible to try to improve the efficiency of use of any consumable commodity, and much of the 'Action Programme' - improving the efficiency of electricity appliances and promoting their use through technical advice and consumer information - will be of benefit. But insofar as more efficient appliances come onto the market their lower running costs will lead to a greater usage and hence an increase in electricity consumption. There is of course nothing wrong with that; it should be welcomed. People buy and use these appliances because they get some benefit from them. Consumer benefit is, however, not what the Commission has in mind. Their principal aim seems to be to bring about a reduction in consumption of electricity rather than to increase the efficiency of its use. This is spelt out when they note that 'a 10% improvement in efficiency of electricity use could, by the year 2000, avoid the need for some 40 G W of additional generating p l a n t ' , which, it is claimed, would 'imply consequential reductions in costs to electricity consumers'. It is not at all obvious that reducing consumption would reduce the consumer cost. The opposite is more likely, if production overheads and network distribution costs have to be spread over a smaller number of 295

Communications Table 2. Value added in manufacturing (millions of 1980 US$). UK Belgium Denmark France Sweden

1970 130 154 21 791 8 485 119 708 23 355

1985 124 809 131 497 12 430 175 519 29 213

Change (%) -4 +44 +46 +47 +25



Source: World Bank, World Development Report 1987, World Bank, Washington, DC, USA 1987, Table 7. Table 3. Percentage change in energy and electricity consumption in industry, 1973-86. UK Belgium Denmark France Sweden

Electricity 0 + 15 + 101 + 23 + 20

Energy -38 - 30 -3 - 16 - 14

Source: Figures calculated from national statistics. kWh. But it is also possible that to pursue a reduction in the electricityG D P ratio as an end in itself may lead to undesired social and economic changes. The lower electricity-GDP ratio in the U K may partly be accounted for by the rapid introduction of North Sea gas into an established gas distribution network which restricted electricity growth, particularly in the domestic market, but another factor is the relative decline of U K industry compared to the other countries. Figures from the World Bank give the change in value added in manufacturing over the period 1970-85. In comparison with all the other industrial countries it is only in the UK that the output of manufacturing industry has declined (see Table 2). The percentage change in valued added in manufacturing in these countries can then be compared with the percentage change in energy and electricity consumption for the manufacturing industries of the same group of countries, in this case over the period 1973 to 1986 (Table 3). It is difficult to see the zero growth of electricity consumption in the U K compared with the rises in the other countries, and the greater fall in energy consumption, as anything but a consequence of the decline of British industry rather than a triumph of electricity conservation policies. That two effects occur at the same time does not necessarily imply a caus-

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al relationship, but there are some pointers to support a view that the fall in the e n e r g y - G D P ratio has in part been brought about by the increase in electricity consumption. One example, from Sweden, shows that while the total energy used for heating in domestic and commercial premises over the period 1978-86 fell by 14%, the share of space heating taken by electricity rose from 9.8% to 24.5%; the share of oil fell from 66% to 32%. 1° As a 'premium' fuel, whose higher end-use efficiency, greater flexibility and accuracy of control, etc, justifies a higher price than fossil fuels, increasing electricity use, in substituting directly for fossil fuels as a source of heat, will be a factor in the increased efficiency of energy use, since there will be an economic incentive to use the more expensive energy source more efficiently. Electricity is also a source of power - in motor drives, electrical and electronic equipment etc, where the question of competition with fossil fuels does not arise. The increase in both energy efficiency and productivity which generally follows the adoption of more advanced electrically driven technology will also have the effect of reducing the e n e r g y - G D P ratio. Referring back to the factors which can affect the e n e r g y - G D P ratio it can be seen that these generally favour an increasing use of electricity. • Structural changes: The change is



a decline in heavy industry, usually fossil-fuel based, to an increase in the service/commercial sectors for which the energy consumption per unit of G D P would be lower, but in which electricity would take a larger share. Product changes: A growing concentration on more specialized products, of higher added value, would tend to increase the use of electricity, for production processes, air-conditioned factories, etc. Technological changes in industry and commerce: The introduction of automation and computercontrolled techniques in manufacture, and the computerization of commerce to increase productivity, would be largely based on electric power, and at the same time would show significant gains in overall energy efficiency. In the heating field, technologies such as induction furnaces, arc melting, electric ovens, infrared, ultraviolet and radio frequency heating, electrically driven heat pumps and vapour recompression evaporators are also being adopted, both to improve efficiency of energy use and to increase productivity.

Deliberate attempts to restrict or reduce electricity consumption in the interests of greater energy economy may actually increase the energyG D P ratio and so have the opposite effect to that intended. This applies in particular to proposals that electricity utilities should finance measures to reduce electricity consumption so as to avoid the need to build new plant. It is more likely that a greater efficiency of energy use might be achieved by promoting an increased use of electricity.

Saved but not spared There is some ambiguity about the way in which the term 'energy conservation' is used. In its positive sense it means an increase in the efficiency of energy use, making a given amount of energy go further by increasing the efficiency of appliances and of the technology of use, together with measures to avoid wastage such as improving the insulation of buildings etc.

ENERGY POLICY April 1990

Communications

as using waste heat from a puddling or reheating furnace to generate steam, or using the waste gases from a blast furnace to heat the blast, and in a c o m m e n t which the Association for the Conservation of Energy would echo today he says:

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In fact, there is hardly a single use of fuel in which a little care, ingenuity, or expenditure of capital may not make a considerable saving.

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Freezers

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Appliance Figure 2. The electricity consumption of new domestic appliances Source: Elforsymingens Tihrsoversigt 1977-86, Dansk EIverkers Foreningen

This is saving energy. This positive aspect of conservation is not only sensible and desirable, it is the inevitable result of e c o n o m i c and technical development. But conservation is increasingly being interpreted in a negative sense, of sparing energy - seeking direct reductions by voluntary, priceinduced, or directly imposed restrictions for no o t h e r purpose than to reduce consumption. In this use of the term there is often an implied moral o v e r t o n e that increasing energy use is to be regarded as wasteful, unethical or even sinful and greedy. Sparing might then be seen as m o r e virtuous than consuming. Increasing efficiency of energy use generally comes about from technological advances which are driven by the e c o n o m i c pressure to use any resource to the best advantage. I m p r o v e d appliances which will perform a given task or process with a smaller consumption of energy will displace earlier models as soon as the gains in running cost are judged to outweigh the replacement cost. I m p r o v e m e n t s in efficiency of use will generally lead to reductions in operational cost, from which a greater usage can be expected. This was pointed out over a hundred years ago by the Victorian economist W. Stanley Jevons, at the time of an earlier energy crisis. It is wholly a confusion of ideas to suppose that the economical use of fuel is equivalent to diminished consumption. The very

ENERGY POLICY April 1990

contrary is the truth . . . It is the very economy of its use which leads to its extensive consumption. It has been so in the past and it will be so in the future. A n d he gives an example: Now, if the quantity of coal used in a blast furnace, for instance, be diminished in comparison with the yield, the profits of the trade will increase, new capital will be attracted, the price of pig-iron will fall, but the demand for it will increase: and, eventually, the greater number of furnaces will more than make up for the diminished consumption of each. And if such is not always the result within a single branch, it must be remembered that the progress of any branch of manufacture excites a new activity in most other branches, and leads indirectly, if not directly, to increased inroads upon our seams of c o a l . . . It is the very economy of the use of coal that makes our industry what it is, and the more we render it efficient and economical, the more will our industry thrive, and our works of civilization grow. 11 The potential saving of energy that can be obtained through an increased efficiency of energy use is sometimes taken to be equivalent to a new energy source, as for instance when the Association for the Conservation of Energy refers to energy efficiency as the 'fifth fuel', since the energy saved is available for o t h e r purposes. This is misleading since there must c o m e a point, if consumption continues to increase, when s o m e new input is required. This was also taken by Jevons, who gives n u m e r o u s examples of energy conservation measures introduced in his day to improve energy efficiency, such

But no one must suppose that coal thus saved is spared - it is only saved from one use to be employed in others, and the profits gained soon lead to extended employment in many new forms . . . And if economy in the past has been the main source of our progress and growing consumption of coal, the same effect will follow from the same cause in the future. 12

Some examples The same economic forces apply today. Two contemporary examples can be quoted. In D e n m a r k , a country which takes energy conservation m o r e seriously than most, there have been appreciable reductions in the electricity consumption of domestic appliances o v e r the period 1977-86 (Figure 2). But there was over the same period an increase in the n u m b e r of appliances used (Figure 3), with the result that the domestic consumption of electricity increased from 7 199 G W h in 1978 to 8 746 G W h in 1986.13 A second example is in road transp o r t . F i g u r e s f r o m the E u r o p e a n Commission show that the energy efficiency of new cars has improved, with an averaged fall in oil consumption in litres/100 km over the period 1973-83 of 20% for G e r m a n y , France, Italy, Netherlands and the U K . But over the same period, oil consumption for road transport in the E u r o p e a n C o m m u n i t y increased by 30%, with an increase of o v e r 50% in the n u m b e r of motor vehicles. 14 In neither case is it suggested that there is a direct cause-effect relationship. T h e considerations that lead to a greater usage are personal and complex. But lower running costs will certainly be one factor influencing a decision to purchase, or the size of a new electrical appliance or m o t o r car,

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and the use that will be made of it. Both examples may also reflect the c o n s e q u e n c e s of t h e i n c r e a s i n g prosperity that comes with economic growth. But economic growth itself depends in turn on the availability of energy and its efficient use.

Saturation Given these examples it is not surprising that since the beginning of the industrial age improvements of energy efficiency have gone hand in hand with increasing energy usage. This is shown in the increasing per capita energy consumption, which for the industrial countries has risen steeply since the turn of the century from about 1 toe to almost 5 toe, with a hopeful projection that suggests a levelling off or even a slight fall by about 2020 (Figure 4). 15 Some saturation of energy demand seems likely when most needs are satisfied. But will this be at the level of North America where the average per capita consumption is over 8 toe? In this case there could still be a substantial increase in the per capita demand in Europe which is now at the more modest 3-4 toe. There is a limit to the number of domestic appliances which the average family can use, or even to the number of motor vehicles which can be tolerated by a society, or to the temperature to which one wishes to heat one's home. In some cases we may be approaching this limit. 16 Some reduction in the future growth of per capita energy demand in the 298

present industrial countries will come from a shift away from manufacturing towards a more service based economy. But at the same time, this may be associated with indirect energy imports as more manufactured goods and semi-finished materials are imported from the newly industrializing countries of the Third World. The rise in the per capita energy curve of the developing countries may then be more steep than indicated in Figure 4.

Energy rationing? D e s p i t e the growing tendency in Western society to regard the consumption of energy, goods and services in an ethical context, social and economic theories of 'conspicuous consumption '17 would not seem to have any obvious, widespread application in the field of energy use, apart perhaps from the ostentatious, highpetrol-consuming motor car. It is then interesting that a domestic survey in Sweden by the State Power Board identifies 'wasters' who are just as likely to leave the water running as they are to turn up the heat and open the windows - high water consumption and high energy consumption, they say, go hand in hand. The overtones of moral condemnation which are apparent in the term 'waster' may open the way to some electricity rationing or pricing scheme, which is likely to be necessary if the Swedish government goes ahead with its intention to shut down operating nuclear power stations at a time when

electricity demand is still increasing. There is the example of China where each household is given a monthly quota of only 50-75 kWh, with any excess load being charged at 5-10 times the normal tariff. 19 If, as seems likely, conservation efforts directed towards increasing energy efficiency only result, to the extent that they are successful, in an increased consumption, energy reductions imposed through price increases or even rationing may be the only means to reduce energy c o n s u m p t i o n } ° This question will have to be faced if fears of environmental damage are confirmed. A reduction of energy usage is one means of combatting the greenhouse effect. The 1988 Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere proposed that of a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, half should come from changes in supply, with the other half being from energy efficiency and 'other conservation measures'. 21 This could imply some restriction on energy use.

Conclusion The incentive to improve the efficiency of energy use is ever present, driven by both technical advance and economic gain. Artificial attempts to promote energy conservation as a policy in its own right, deliberately aimed at reducing consumption, may only distort the energy economy. Insofar as they are successful they will only accelerate the natural rate of progress which leads to reduced costs of using energy. This can only tend to increase the eventual consumption. The end result may then be quite different to what the 'conservationists' intend. The same reasoning applies to electricity conservation. But in addition proposals aimed at reducing electricity consumption would slow down the continued substitution of fossil fuels by electricity. Since electricity generally shows a greater efficiency in enduse, this would be likely to lead to an overall increase in energy consumption. The growing belief that fossil fuel combustion is a significant contributor to global warming brings a new urgency to considerations of energy and ENERGY

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Communications

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Figure 4. Per capita consumption of energy (Tep/capita)

Source: Colombo et al, op cit, Ref 15

e c o n o m i c policy. In this it is necessary to be aware of the merits, limitations and consequences of energy conservation policies. Presenting conservation as equivalent to a new supply - 'the fifth fuel' - fosters the illusion that energy uses can be c o n t i n u e d unchecked by making existing supplies go further. The wish to decouple energy from e c o n o m i c growth may be little m o r e than trying to have one's cake and eat it. It diverts attention from the m o r e fundamental argument o v e r continued e c o n o m i c growth. It evades the real p r o b l e m of if, and how, increasing energy demands of a world population, on line to double to 10 000 million by the middle of the next century, can be met, while at the same time s e e k i n g to r e d u c e c a r b o n d i o x i d e emissions from burning fossil fuels. If the ' g r e e n h o u s e ' effect is to be taken seriously the combustion of fossil fuels may have to be restricted. T o minimize the consequent social, political

ENERGY POLICY April 1990

and e c o n o m i c disruption that would follow it will be necessary to increase to the m a x i m u m the output of nonfossil energy sources - primary electricity - with nuclear p o w e r as the m a j o r contributor.

Geoffrey Greenhalgh Sussex, UK

1For example, on one side D.L. and D.H. Meadows, Limits to Growth: a Report for the Club of Rome, 1972 (reprinted by Pan Books, London, UK, 1974); on the other W. Beckerman, In Defence of Economic Growth, Jonathan Cape, London, UK, 1974. 2G.H. Bruntland, chairman, Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK for World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987, p 89. 3Although the 'greens' advocate recycling for glass, paper, aluminium cans and other materials, they do not accept the reproces-

sing of spent uranium fuel to recover and recycle uranium and plutonium, thus reducing the need for fresh uranium supplies. 4The Main Findings of the Commission's Review of Member States' Energy Policies. The 1995 Community Energy Objectives, COM(88) 174 final, Commission of the European Communities Communication to the Council, April 1988. 5Ibid, para 11, p 7. 61bid, p 7. 71bid, para 19, p 10. aG. Greenhalgh, 'Energy, electricity and GDP', paper presented to the International Association of Energy Economists 10th Annual Conference, Luxembourg, July 1988. 90n a Community Action Programme for Improving the Efficiency of Electricity Use, COM(88) 576, Commission of the European Communities Communication to the Council, October 1988. l°Statistika centralbyran, Abstract of energy statisticsfor dwellings and non-industrial premises 1978--86, E165M8802, Statistiska centralbyr~n, Stockholm, Sweden, 1988. 11W. Stanley Jevons, The Coal Question, Macmillan, London, UK, 1865, Chapter VI. 12Ibid. 13Elforsyningens ti~rsoversigt 1977-86, Association of Danish Electric Utilities, Frederiksberg, Denmark, December 1987. 14European Commission, 'Energy analysis of the transport sector', Energy in Europe, Vol 10, April 1988. 15U. Colombo et al, Uso e Scelta delle Fonti Energetica, reviewed in Energia e Innovazione, Vol 7, July 1988, p 89. 16C. Marchetti, International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, WP-87-107, November 1983, has estimated the saturation of car population for the UK at 17 million. The present figure is 17.2 million. In this case further reductions in miles/gal could lead to a real reduction in petrol consumption. Alternatively, traffic congestion may promote the introduction of new methods of transport with different energy requirements. 17T.B. Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class, Macmillan, New York, USA, 1905. 18Energy use habits surveyed, Uppdrag 2000, 1/88, Vattenfall, Sweden, 1988. 19Lu Yingzhong, 'Environmental issues of urban energy in the PRC', paper presented to the International Association of Energy Economists 10th International Conference, Luxembourg, July 1988. 2°The steep price increases (almost a factor of 2) which would follow if the recent IEA proposals for a carbon tax, (of $50/t on coal, $8/bbl on oil and $1/million Btu on natural gas) were adopted, would amount to a rationing by price. See Financial Times, 1 February 1989. 21Statement from the Conference on the Changing Atmosphere, Toronto, Canada, June 1988.

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