Energy studies review 2006

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Energy Studies Review
Volume 14 | Issue 1 Article 5


Book Reviews
Steve Sorrell Eoin O'Malley Joachim Schleich Sue Scott

Recommended Citation
Sorrell, Steve; O'Malley, Eoin; Schleich, Joachim; and Scott, Sue (2006) "Book Reviews," Energy Studies Review: Vol. 14: Iss. 1, Article 5. Available at:

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Book Reviews

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Sorrell et al.: Book Reviews

Energy Studies Review Vol. 14. No.1,2006 pp.186-192


The Economics of Energy Efficiency: Barriers to Cost-Effective Investment

Published by Edward Elgar Cheltenham, UK, 2004 ISBN: 1840648899

The authors of this book define a barrier to energy efficiency as "a mechanism that inhibits a decision or behaviour that appears to be both energy efficientand economically efficient" (p. 27). Such mechanisms prevent (sufficient) investment in cost-effective energy efficient technologies, and therefore contribnte to the energy efficiency gap, which the authors imprecisely define as "the existence of unexploited investment opportunities that appear worthwhile at cnrrent prices" (p.30). Of course such investment opportunities conld just as easily arisein a variety of contexts, not just those associated with improvements in energy efficiency. The narrower focns of this book is on whether there are widespread and cost effective opportunities available to improve energy efficiency, and if so, what might be done to encourage exploitation of these opportunities, particularly in terms of public policy or organizational change.

Produced by TheBerkeley Electronic Press, 2006

Energy Studies Review, Vol. 14 [2006], Iss. 1, Art. 5

The material in this book essentially summarizes - and puts in a particularly reader-friendly form - a selection of the information obtained and analysis conducted as part of a project on barriers to energy efficiency in public and private organizations that was undertaken in the U.K., Ireland, and Gemlanyduring 1998-2000. The project itself involved surveys and detailed interviews with various people in these organizations who were selected because they were in charge of, associated with, or had some knowledge and/or related interest in, energy use and possibly (although not necessarily) energy efficiency within those organizations. To put the results of such a project in an accessible form, theanalysis is broken into case studies of particular sectors in the various countries, where the infoffi1ation and analysis in the case study for each sector is typically based on surveys that elicited responses from many entities (fiffi1s or organizations) in that sector, and then detailed follow-up interviews with between four and seven of these entities within each sector. The four sectors that areconsidered in this book, each forming a separate chapter, are the higher education sectors in Geffi1any and in the U.K, the brewing sector in the U.K., and the mechanical engineering sector in Ireland. In addition, reflecting the author's contention that ongoing reforms to U.K constmction industry have the potential to address many of the barriers they identify elsewhere (at least in the U.K.), andmotivated mainly by comments obtained in the interviews conducted for the case studies in the U.K. higher education sector, the book includes an additional chapter that focuses on the UX constmction industry, although without the benefit of the same type of survey and interview information obtained for the other

To provide a framework for the case studies, Chapter 2 is a stand-alone...
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