Reflections--Energy Efficiency Policy: Pipe Dream or Pipeline to the Future?
In recent years, the amount of both private and public money dedicated to promoting energy efficiency has increased a great deal. Is this a good investment? This "Reflections" article examines the potential for further investment opportunities, the case for government intervention, and the evidence on the effectiveness of the various forms of intervention. The evidence suggests that the challenge of breaking down the barriers is more difficult than conventional wisdom would have us believe. Internalizing externalities and assuring an adequate flow of information is helpful, but not likely to be sufficient. The significant challenges posed by these barriers suggest that policy makers must recognize an expanded set of barriers and respond with some ingenuity in applying an expanded set of available instruments. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.
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