In the last 40 years, considerable progress in efficiency improvements has been achieved. Nevertheless, the total energy consumption in Germany has not been decreasing accordingly. So-called
rebound effects work in such ways that the theoretical technical saving potential is not achieved, since direct and indirect effects of the efficiency improvement can lead to higher energy
The central research question of the ReCap project is which macroeconomic effects result from such rebounds, especially because energy as a production factor has been playing a key role for economic growth. Against this background, the project examines the relation between macroeconomic rebound effects and economic growth.
For more than 30 years, research has been dealing with rebound effects of increases in energy and resource efficiency. Building on existing literature and different economic growth theories, the
ReCap project team systematizes the mechanisms of micro, meso and macroeconomic rebound effects and drivers of economic growth. The identified drivers will be analysed through statistical and
econometric methods and focusing on several sectors in more detail such the chemical industry or the mechanical engineering industry.
Based on the findings we plan to develop a set of policy measures, which have the potential to mitigate rebound effects. The potential environmental and economic effects of those policy measures will be analyzed through a modelling exercise. In a transdisciplinary Policy Innovation Lab stakeholders from policy and business together with researchers from the project team will develop a set of elaborate rebound-proof policy measures which aim to utilize the energy savings potential of efficiency improvements as much as possible in order to decrease total resource and energy consumption.
In the Policy Innovation Lab stakeholders from policy and business provide advice on the research design and the research process. Thereby, the ReCap project builds a bridge between theory and practice. In this practice-oriented dialogue process with actors from policy and business, policy measures will be developed which can contribute to the mitigation of rebound effects. We will also discuss how political barriers to the implementation of such measures can be overcome.