Trends, Investment Behaviour and Policy Design
Edited by Raymond J.G.M. Florax, Henri L.F. de Groot and Peter Mulder
Chapter 12: Conclusions and Future Research
Raymond J.G.M. Florax, Henri L.F. de Groot and Peter Mulder 1 POSITIONING Maintaining energy security and adaptation and mitigation to the global process of climate change constitute serious challenges for the twenty-first century. The failure to reach an agreement on fighting climate change in Copenhagen in December 2009 reveals the political complexity and the important economic stakes involved. Despite the complexity of the energy security and climate change issues, there is general consensus that innovation and adoption of new technologies resulting in substantial improvements in energy efficiency is critical in finding long-term solutions for these problems. There is also an increasing recognition that the development of new technologies alone is not sufficient. New technologies need to be adopted and integrated into already existing production processes. This implementation is costly and far from automatic. We are therefore in need of policies conducive to fostering dissemination and adoption of both new and already existing technologies. This book contains theoretical and empirical contributions offering insights into energy efficiency trends across countries and sectors, and into aspects of the complex interaction between technological change, energy policy, investment behaviour and the resulting trends in energy efficiency. It deviates from many other studies by its focus on small and medium-sized enterprises in energy-extensive sectors (for instance, the light industry and the service sector). Although total energy use in these sectors is substantial (around 20 per cent of economy-wide energy use, and about one-third of corporate energy use) and potential savings are therefore considerable, little is known...
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