Opportunity Knocks: Economic Energy Intensity

Economic Energy Intensity: Complexities, Implications, Controversies

March 10, 2011

4:15 p.m. (refreshments served at 4 p.m.)

Room 1106, Mechanical Engineering Building

Program Description:

This is an “Opportunity Knocks” event co-sponsored by the UW Energy Institute, WAGE Governing Global Energy Collaborative, Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, and European Union Center for Excellence.

Climate change is largely an energy technology problem. Energy technologies can contribute to energy efficiency improvement, the main component of energy intensity change over time. For any given rate of global growth in energy-using activities (roughly indicated by GDP growth) and an atmospheric carbon stabilization path, a trade-off between the long-term global rate of energy intensity decline and the amount of carbon-free energy required for stabilization can be described. However, contrary to what is implied by many emission scenarios, there are limits to long-term reductions in energy intensity, even with very great improvements in energy efficiency in most energy-using activities.

Featured Presenter:

  • Christopher Green, McGill University (Montreal, Quebec)

Chris Green is Professor of Economics at McGill University. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1966 under the supervision of Professor Robert Lampman, and then taught at North Carolina State University for three years before moving to McGill in 1969. Over the next two decades Green’s research followed a winding trail from negative income taxes and the poverty problem to unemployment insurance and labor markets to competition and industrial policies to government debt-related issues. In 1988 he became interested in climate change, and in the 1990s realized that climate change is essentially an energy technology problem. That insight has governed his research since.

Posted in Program Archives.