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The Role of Electricity in Industrial Development

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  • Nathan Rosenberg
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the role played by electricity in the course of industrial development over the past century. The focus is primarily on the American experience. It is commonly observed that industrialization involves increasing energy intensity, but this is not entirely accurate. In the American experience, energy intensity (measured as the ratio of total energy consumption to GNP) rose between 1880 and 1920, but declined thereafter. However, throughout the entire 20th century, electricity's share of total energy consumption has increased. The paper accounts for this rising share in terms of certain unique features of electricity in specific industrial applications, i.e., features for which other energy forms are, at best, highly imperfect substitutes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

    Volume (Year): Volume19 (1998)
    Issue (Month): Number 2 ()
    Pages: 7-24

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    Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1998v19-02-a02

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    Cited by:
    1. Vaona, Andrea, 2013. "The sclerosis of regional electricity intensities in Italy: An aggregate and sectoral analysis," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 880-889.
    2. Yoo, S.-H., 2006. "The causal relationship between electricity consumption and economic growth in the ASEAN countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3573-3582, December.
    3. Chali Nondo & Mulugeta Kahsai & Peter Schaeffer, 2010. "Energy Consumption and Economic Growth: Evidence from COMESA Countries," Working Papers 201001, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
    4. Szalavetz, Andrea, 2011. "Innovációvezérelt növekedés?
      [Innovation-driven growth?]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 460-476.
    5. Wolde-Rufael, Yemane, 2005. "Energy demand and economic growth: The African experience," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 891-903, November.
    6. Hamdi, Helmi & Sbia, Rashid & Shahbaz, Muhammad, 2014. "The nexus between electricity consumption and economic growth in Bahrain," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 227-237.
    7. Liddle, Brantley, 2009. "Electricity intensity convergence in IEA/OECD countries: Aggregate and sectoral analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1470-1478, April.
    8. Kahsai, Mulugeta S. & Nondo, Chali & Schaeffer, Peter V. & Gebremedhin, Tesfa G., 2012. "Income level and the energy consumption–GDP nexus: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 739-746.
    9. Chineke, Theo Chidiezie & Ezike, Fabian M., 2010. "Political will and collaboration for electric power reform through renewable energy in Africa," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 678-684, January.
    10. Sbia, Rashid & Shahbaz, Muhammad, 2013. "The Weight of Economic Growth and Urbanization on Electricity Demand in UAE," MPRA Paper 47981, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Jul 2013.
    11. Yoo, Seung-Hoon & Lee, Joo-Suk, 2010. "Electricity consumption and economic growth: A cross-country analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 622-625, January.
    12. Wolde-Rufael, Yemane, 2006. "Electricity consumption and economic growth: a time series experience for 17 African countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1106-1114, July.
    13. Bildirici, Melike, 2012. "Economic Growth and Electricity Consumption in Africa and Asia: MS-VAR and MS-GRANGER Causality Analysis," MPRA Paper 40515, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Cleveland, Cutler J. & Kaufmann, Robert K. & Stern, David I., 2000. "Aggregation and the role of energy in the economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 301-317, February.
    15. Liddle, Brantley & Lung, Sidney, 2013. "Might electricity consumption cause urbanization instead? Evidence from heterogeneous panel long-run causality tests," MPRA Paper 52333, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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