Saving Energy Has The Opposite Effect

Alex,

Actually, it would seem to increase energy use to save energy.  The reason is what you might call the “bottleneck principle”.  If you remove bottlenecks it increases the flow.  The high value we put on some efficiencies is that they are bottlenecks that unleash the use of other resources when made less of a constraint.

You have to study the whole system’s constraints to see if relieving one actually unleashes expansion of the others. It’s basically the idea of a controlling variable for which removing it’s constraint shifts the whole system constraint to other variables. 

Given that we are talking about a growth system, relieving a limiting variable will generally have multiplying effects on throughputs for all others. For white roofs, there are two influences discussed, albedo and energy savings, and a whole world of other variables not discussed.

Perhaps every square foot of white roof could have a carbon credit, and that makes carbon intensive products cheaper, resulting in selling more of them.  It would also increase the profitability and lower the cost of products for all industries using energy.

Lowering the cost of energy would increase all their sales.  Increasing their profits would let them multiply their business investments faster.  It’s tangled, but you get the picture (I hope).

Why people only talk about what their proposals solve and ignore what they would complicate or counter act would be a good question to ask.   If you relieve a growth system of constraints, though, it grows more.   The real question is how to relieve a growth system of stimulus (not constraint), so it stabilizes and relieves itself of constraint by adjusting to stability.

Does that make sense?

Phil Henshaw re: http://www.climatechange.ca.gov/events/2008_conference/presentations/2008-09-09/Hashem_Akbari.pdf

 

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