How do Swedish industry respond to improved energy efficiency?

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A new thesis from Umeå University studies how energy efficiency and environmental regulation affect the Swedish industrial sector.

Golnaz Amjadi has studied the impacts of energy efficiency improvements in Swedish manufacturing firms using a detailed firm-level datasets for the Swedish manufacturing industry consisting of 14 sectors spanning the period 1997–2008. Her research suggests that manufacturing firms have generally potential to improve energy efficiency, but paradoxically, improved energy efficiency can increase a firm’s energy use.

- Broadly speaking, the main source(s) of energy inefficiency are long run shortcomings mainly related to structural rigidities connected to technology and/or management issues. Manufacturing firms which improve their efficiency in the use of energy, may further respond to such improvement by increasing their energy use, this is called energy rebound effects. The reason is that energy efficiency improvement lowers the price of energy service and that may result in an increased energy consumption. An intuitive and widely used example of energy rebound effect is that if one upgrades to a more fuel-efficient car, then he/she might drive more kilometers since the price of fuel per kilometer for this person is lower after this upgrade. This does not mean that improved efficiency is harmful. Indeed, higher energy efficiency is welfare enhancing. I measured the size of energy rebound effect for manufacturing firms, and found that the size of this effect is generally substantial. However, rebound effect does not totally offset the energy and emission savings expected from efficiency gains. This result help to set realistic energy and climate targets and to design policy mandates that show an awareness of accounts for behavioral responses to energy efficiency improvements, Golnaz Amjadi continues.

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Dissertation - Golnaz Amjadi Torshizi
Start: Fri. 27 Nov, 2020 10:00

Essays on energy efficiency, environmental regulation and labor demand in Swedish industry


Golnaz Amjadi Torshizi


Place: Zoom
Meeting ID: 685 1833 8277
Passcode: 895961
Physical meeting place for an invited few: Hörsal A, Samhällsvetarhuset

Opponent: Professor Luis Orea, Department of Economics, Oviedo university, Spain

Do we have the right incentives to promote a more circular economy?

News article from
A new thesis from the Industrial Doctoral School at Umeå University analyzes the effects of incentives aiming to create a more circular economy.

To create an economic system that is both cost-effective and environmentally sustainable, policy makers need to understand how households, companies, and states respond to incentives. In his thesis, Alejandro Egüez, have examined how different incentives affect three fundamental sectors for a more circular economy: energy efficiency, district heating, and waste management.

Read the full article: "Do we have the right incentives to promote a more circular economy?"

The thesis: Energy efficiency, district heating and waste management: essays on environmental economics

The dissertation

Friday November 20, 2020
10.00 am, in Triple Helix in the University Management Building.
The defense will be held in English and will be broadcasted via Zoom.
Meeting ID: 698 688 8914
Passcode: 403509 

Faculty opponent Professor Patrik Söderholm, Luleå Technical University.
Main supervisor Runar Brännlund, co-supervisor Thomas Broberg.

The tax system must benefit both the economy and the environment

Runar Brännlund and Bengt Kriström presents on Västerbottens Kuriren debate a more efficient climate policy that will benefit the climate with each Swedish krona spent.

The debate article is based on the SNS report "Swedish Energy and Environmental Taxation – A Reform Proposal" presented last week where they recommended to go from narrow to wider tax bases and that environmental taxes are only to be used when it is environmentally motivated.

The debate article ”Skattesystemet måste gynna både ekonomin och miljön” published November 11, 2020.

EU ETS breakdown

The EU emissions trading system reform have made it so difficult to understand that reputable economist results are diametrically different regarding its function, writes CERE’s Per-Olov Johansson on Svenska Dagbladet September 24th, 2020.


Uncertain which environmental issue the plastic bag tax is addressing

Sweden has a goal to come out of the pandemic a bit more sustainable and will therefore keep the new tax on plastic carrier bags. A tax CERE’s Runar Brännlund is very sceptic to, something he voiced on Swedish Radio on September 22nd, 2020.

Runar claims that it is uncertain which environmental issue the tax is supposed to be addressing and consequently what effect it has on this unknown issue. He questions the presence of a proper cost-benefit analysis since the tax only cover carrier plastic bags and no other plastic packaging. Which means that the market can increase their pre-packaging without consequence and the amount of plastic could remain the same.

Listen to the radio segment (only in Swedish); Professorn: "Oklart vilken effekt skatt på bärplastkassar har". Sveriges radio September 22, 2020

Tax on plastic bags a fiasco?

Runar Brännlund claims that there are multiple reasons that the tax has failed. One aspect being that the taxed plastic bags, that aren't even an environmental issue, are being replaced by products that, from a environmental point of view, actually is problematic. (only in Swedish)

Too much faith in demand flexibility

Mattias Vesterberg takes a closer look at demand flexibility in a SNS report and on Dagens industry. Trusting in the households willingness to adapt are often unrealistic, says Mattias Vesterberg.

Over the summer, southern Sweden have suffered from electricity shortages, which, according to Mattias, points to the challenges the Swedish electricity market is facing. One of the discussed solutions is that households should actively face the challenges by adjusting their electricity use hours when more electricity is available. This, however, is quite the task considering that household use electricity for heating when it’s cold, light when its dark, and cooking when they are hungry and at home. That the household would be flexible here is often unrealistic according to Mattias Vesterberg.

The Dagens industri debate article ”Hushållen löser inte elbristen”, published September 13th, 2020. (only in Swedish)

The SNS report (2020) ”Den svenska elmarknaden: Är hushållen en kraft att räkna med?” (only in Swedish).

Meet visiting researcher Parisa Pakrooh

Parisa Pakrooh is a PhD student within the field of Energy Economics (Fossil Fuels) and Climate Change at the University of Tabriz, Iran. She has come to CERE for a longer stay of at least six months to further develop her knowledge within the field at a center known for its experience on energy and environmental economics. (Read more by clicking the headline)

Pakrooh is on the last leg of her PhD studies and will be an asset to CERE with her knowledge on agricultural economics, agricultural policies, natural resources and environmental economics. Her thesis titled “Investigating Economic Policies Effect on Fossil Energy Resources Consumption in the Agricultural Sector of Iran” is finished and awaiting graduation and her focus lately has been solely on energy and environmental economics.

Coming events