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Energy efficiency and rebound effect in European road freight transport
Improving energy efficiency has become a primary energy policy goal in many countries. In particular, the setting of specific targets to reduce energy use has been a significant element of climate change and energy security objectives and has conditioned the policies towards energy-intensive sectors such as road freight transport.
Nevertheless it is increasingly recognised that energy efficiency improvements can also lead to changes in the demand for energy services that offset some of the achieved energy savings in the form of rebound effects. Consequently, if the rebound effects are substantial the assessments of energy savings will overstate the effects of the policies. This paper analyses the energy efficiency and rebound effects for road freight transport of 15 European countries during the 1992-2012 period. We estimate an energy demand frontier function using Stochastic Frontier Analysis to estimate the influence of key features of the transport sector on the rebound effect. The main contribution of this paper is the use of a recently proposed methodological approach to analyse a sector that has not been deeply studied. We obtain on average a fuel efficiency of 90% and a rebound effect of 11.4%. Our results indicate that the achieved energy efficiencies are retained to a large extent.
Manuel Llorca joined Durham University Business School in May 2015 as a Research Fellow in Energy Economics. He holds a PhD (University of Oviedo, Spain) and a Master’s Degree in Economics (Universities of the Basque Country, Cantabria and Oviedo, Spain). He is an Early Career Fellow at Durham Energy Institute, Research Associate at Oviedo Efficiency Group (University of Oviedo, Spain) and he has been Academic Visitor at Energy Policy Research Group (University of Cambridge).
His research is mainly focused on the application of efficiency and productivity analysis models to study energy-related issues such as energy efficiency, rebound effect, network regulation, transport or innovation.
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