We are in the midst of seriously improving energy efficiency in the hopes that it will reduce energy consumption. However, there is an economic theory (about coal consumption no less) known since 1865 that says that increasing efficiency will increase overall energy consumption even if the amount used for a given task is reduced.
In economics, the Jevons Paradox (sometimes called the Jevons effect) is the proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used, tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource. It is historically called the Jevons Paradox as it ran counter to popular intuition. However, the situation is well understood in modern economics. In addition to reducing the amount needed for a given output, improved efficiency lowers the relative cost of using a resource – which increases demand. Overall resource use increases or decreases depending on which effect predominates.It all depends on whether the demand for energy is elastic or inelastic. And that is where Kahazoom comes in.
William Stanley Jevons
The proposition was first put forward by William Stanley Jevons in his 1865 book The Coal Question. In it, Jevons observed that England's consumption of coal soared after James Watt introduced his coal-fired steam engine, which greatly improved the efficiency of Thomas Newcomen's earlier design. Watt's innovations made coal a more cost effective power source, leading to the increased use of the steam engine in a wide range of industries. This in turn increased total coal consumption, even as the amount of coal required for any particular application fell. Jevons argued that increased efficiency in the use of coal would tend to increase the use of coal, and would not reduce the rate at which England's deposits of coal were being depleted.
In the 1980s, the economists Daniel Khazzoom and Leonard Brookes revisited the Jevons paradox for the case of a society's energy use. Brookes, then chief economist at the UK Atomic Energy Authority, argued that attempts to reduce energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency would simply raise demand for energy in the economy as a whole. Khazzoom focused on the narrower point that the potential for rebound was ignored in mandatory performance standards for domestic appliances being set by the California Energy Commission.What to do? Well government could tax energy so that consumers and produces do not reap the benefit of energy efficiency. Another way to get such results is for the government to promote high cost energy sources such as wind and solar.
In 1992, the economist Harry Saunders dubbed the hypothesis – that improvements in energy efficiency work to increase, rather than decrease, energy consumption – the Khazzoom-Brookes Postulate, and showed that it was consistent with neo-classical growth theory under a wide range of assumptions.
In other words Obama's energy policies are well grounded in economics. And most importantly they are good for government. We can be thankful we have the Smartest President Ever™.
So now you know why Polywell Fusion hasn't been fully funded by the Obama administration. If it works and is low cost, energy use will skyrocket. And the wise one is against that.
Fortunately Mr. Obama responds well to political pressure. So keep the heat on. Contact info for your government and a simple explanation of Polywell Fusion and its benefits can be found at:
Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained
Note that Amazon has a lot of books on Energy Efficiency and none on Polywell. I'm looking forward to some one writing a book.
Cross Posted at Classical Values