Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Sustainable energy prices and growth: Comparing macroeconomic and backcasting scenarios
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategic Analysis.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment.
2007 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 63, no 4, 722-731 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
macroeconomic modelling, backcasting, energy prices, scenarios, sustainability, future studies, POLICY
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13582DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.05.002ISI: 000248883200011ScopusID: 2-s2.0-34447101909OAI: diva2:326026
QC 20100621Available from: 2010-06-21 Created: 2010-06-21 Last updated: 2010-07-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Valuation of environmental impacts and its use in environmental systems analysis tools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Valuation of environmental impacts and its use in environmental systems analysis tools
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Valuation of environmental impacts in monetary terms is a both difficult and controversial undertaking. However, the need to highlight the value of ecosystem services in policy decisions has become more and more evident in the face of climate change and diminishing biodiversity in the sea and other ecosystems. Valuing non-market goods and services, like ecosystem services, is a lively research field within environmental economics, and valuation methods have been considerably elaborated in the last ten years. In practical policy analyses, there is often a need for readily available valuations of different impacts. This thesis explores and develops several ways to include valuation of environmental impacts in different policy tools, such as cost-benefit analysis, environmental accounting and life-cycle analysis.

The first paper in this thesis is a part of the Swedish attempts to construct and calculate an environmentally adjusted NDP (net national product). This work involved putting a price on non-marketed environmental goods and assets. The valuation methods used in paper I include many of the available methods to value non-marketed goods and services.

Valuation of environmental impacts and/or environmental pressures is used in a number of environmental systems analysis tools besides environmental accounting. Examples are Cost-Benefit Analysis, Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Cost analysis, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Environmental Management Systems. These tools have been developed in different contexts and for different purposes; the way valuation is used also differs. In paper II, the current use of values/weights in the tools is explored, as well as the usefulness of a common valuation/weighting scheme and necessary qualities of such a scheme. In the third paper, a set of generic weights meeting these criteria is developed.

Some of the generic values in the weighting set are taken from directly from other studies, while some are calculated by applying a benefit transfer method called structural benefit transfer on results from selected valuation studies. The method is tested on a number of valuation studies in the fourth paper.

Climate change will have a significant impact on Sweden during this century, both positive and negative. In the fifth paper, a rough estimate of the impacts on man-made capital and human health is presented. The study is an example of an impact assessment including only marketed assets valued with market prices. In the last paper, the economics of sustainable energy use is discussed; what is a sustainable energy price, and how might growth be affected if energy use is limited to a sustainable level? The discussion is based on two different models of thought: a back-casting study, describing how a sustainable future society might look like, and economic scenarios projected with general equilibrium models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2009. 56 p.
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2009:09
valuation, weighting, ecosystem services, elimate change, impact assessment
National Category
Environmental Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11765 (URN)978-91-7415-512-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-12-17, E1, Lindstedtsvägen 3, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
QC 20100330Available from: 2009-12-14 Created: 2009-12-14 Last updated: 2011-09-29Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Ahlroth, SofiaHöjer, Mattias
By organisation
Environmental Strategic AnalysisUrban Planning and Environment
In the same journal
Ecological Economics
Other Civil Engineering

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 223 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link