Sustainable energy prices and growth: Comparing macroeconomic and backcasting scenarios
2007 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 63, no 4, 722-731 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
How do results from the sustainability research world of backcasting relate to the macroeconomic scenarios used for policy evaluation and planning? The answer is that they don't, mostly - they come from different scientific traditions and are not used in the same contexts. Yet they often deal with the same issues. We believe that much can be gained by bringing the two systems of thinking together. This paper is a first attempt to do so, by making qualitative comparisons between different scenarios and highlighting benefits and limitations to each of them. Why are the pictures we get of the energy future so different if we use a macroeconomic model from when using a backcasting approach based on sustainable energy use? It is evident that the methods for producing those two kinds of scenarios differ a lot, but the main reason behind the different results are found in the starting points rather than in the methods. Baseline assumptions are quite different, as well as the interpretations and importance attached to signals about the future. in this paper, it is discussed how those two types of scenarios differ and how they approach issues such as energy prices and growth. The discussion is based on a comparison between Swedish economic and sustainability scenarios. The economic scenarios aim at being forecasts of the future and are used as decision support for long-term policies. But are the assumptions in the economic scenarios reasonable? The sustainability scenarios are explicitly normative backcasting scenarios. They do not take the issue of growth and consumption fully into account. Could they be developed in this respect? The comparison between the scenarios is also used to look closer at the issue of energy prices in a society with sustainable energy use. One of the questions raised is if a low energy society calls for high energy prices. Moreover, the effects of tradable permits versus energy taxes is analysed in the context of how energy use could be kept low in a growing economy.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 63, no 4, 722-731 p.
macroeconomic modelling, backcasting, energy prices, scenarios, sustainability, future studies, POLICY
Other Civil Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13582DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.05.002ISI: 000248883200011ScopusID: 2-s2.0-34447101909OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-13582DiVA: diva2:326026
QC 201006212010-06-212010-06-212010-07-19Bibliographically approved