Jevons' Paradox and Decarbonization

Join us on October 9 at 3:30 p.m. for this Sustainable Energy Seminar presentation by Dr. Giri Venkataramanan, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC) at UW-Madison.

Giri Venkataramanan Venkataramanan


Over a hundred years ago, the English economist William Stanley Jevons keenly observed that technological advances that increase energy efficiency leads to further increased energy consumption and not the other way around, backed by impeccable data.  Ever since he published the findings in his book, The Coal Question, it has been controversial. In this talk, I will briefly review Jevons' observations, followed by recent critiques and affirming observations in various fields of what is now also known as the Rebound Effect. I will conclude with my engineer's perspective what these mean to our current efforts towards decarbonization of the energy economy, posing a question if energy productivity is the right thing for us to strive towards.


This event is offered both in-person at the Wisconsin Energy Institute and online through Zoom Webinar. If attending online, registration is required. Click here to register for this and all other webinars as part of the Sustainable Energy Seminar series in Fall 2023.

1115 Wisconsin Energy Institute (and Online)
1552 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53726