The Nexus Times

Why focus on efficiency?

Efficiency has become a  popular measure in many of the policy areas of the European Union, including energy policy, the circular economy and climate policy. However, despite its ubiquitous use, the term efficiency is surrounded by considerable confusion. Indeed, in some cases improvements in efficiency may lead to increased consumption.

VIDEO: The paradox of energy efficiency

Increasing energy efficiency helps to use resources more economically. But what if greater efficiency in a complex system actually uses up more energy resources overall? This video explains this paradox of energy efficiency, also known as the Jevons Paradox.  

The paradox of efficiency: Can uncertainty be governed?

In a world of limited resources and increasing human impact on the environment, using resources more efficiently seems sensible. Many policies see efficiency as an important instrument to achieve their goals. In the case of energy policy, the EU has published in 2012 a directive on energy efficiency and in June EU energy ministers agreed to support...

Paradox or Paradigm? A deeper discussion about societal goals

The Jevons Paradox and rebound effect can be seen as one of the same thing as both observe higher consumption levels due to increased efficiency. But the real public policy question we should be asking is: do we want to live in a consumption-driven society?

Is renewable energy efficient?

Renewable energy and efficiency are both essential to meet the EU’s sustainability goals, but synergies and trade-offs between the two measures are under-studied.

From religous concept to industrial tool

Far from having a straightforward definition, the term 'efficiency' has taken on many different meanings throughout history, showing that its meaning is highly contextual, writes Tessa Dunlop.

The circular economy: A new efficiency paradox?

Proponents of the circular economy call for actions to be 'eco-effective': but is this another efficiency paradox?