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Economy-wide rebound effects for non-energetic raw materials

: Pfaff, Matthias; Sartorius, Christian


Ecological economics 118 (2015), pp.132–139
ISSN: 0921-8009
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
rebound effect; non-energetic material; Efficiency Technology; resource efficiency

Whether these aims can be achieved to the desired extent depends, among other things, on the presence of rebound effects. This article estimates economy-wide rebound effects for non-energetic raw materials in the context of a set of material efficiency projects carried out in Germany. Under the assumption that the efficiency technologies developed in these projects are scaled up to the national level, input–output analysis is used to calculate changed material requirements and corresponding rebound effects. Reduced material flows in monetary terms, together with economic data, are aggregated to an economy-wide impulse, which can causere-increases in the demand for the considered raw materials. Depending on the project-specific framework conditions and subject to the modeling assumptions, our estimates suggest that individual materials display a wide range of rebound effects, ranging from close to zero to low double digit percentages. These results point towards the conclusion that economy-wide rebound effects do not make these efficiency measures obsolete. However, they also suggest that rebound effects should not be ignored in the assessment of the role of efficiency in future resource consumption.