The answer would appear to be that it is not. According to a CIBC World Markets report indicates that efficiency gains of 50% per unit of GDP from 1975 to 2005 did not result in reduced demand. Energy usage has grown by 40% in that period. Found on TriplePundit.
So this leaves the question at what other mechanics need to be in play to make efficiency a meaningful investment.
A thoughts on that:
Limit growth through public policy
no new pollution generating power plants
cap imports of fuels and certain raw materials at current levels
cap polluting emissions
make polluting emissions cost money
Unfortunately, the cost for all of these is likely to be borne by those least able to accept the economic impact of higher prices as supply no longer keeps up with growth in demand. But it will also create a lot of consumers with a vested interest in being able to afford to live and spending on efficient products at similar prices to traditional versions. Of course, then it becomes a vicious cycle of consumers using less, therefore being able to afford to pay more, and prices don't drop.
I'm really glad I'm not an economist.
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