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Long term trends in resource exergy consumption and useful work supplies in the UK, 1900 to 2000

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Author Info

  • Warr, Benjamin
  • Schandl, Heinz
  • Ayres, Robert U.

Abstract

Our aim is to explain historical economic growth in the UK economy by introducing an empirical measure for useful work derived from natural resource energy inputs into an augmented production function. To do this, we estimate the long-term (1900-2000) trends in resource exergy supply and conversion to useful work in the United Kingdom. The exergy resources considered included domestic consumption of coal, crude oil and petroleum products, natural gas, nuclear and renewable resources (including biomass). All flows of exergy were allocated to an end-use such as providing heat, light, transport, human and animal work and electrical power. For each end-use we estimated a time dependent efficiency of conversion from exergy to useful work. The 3-factor production function (of capital, labour and useful work) is able to reproduce the historic trajectory of economic growth without recourse to any exogenous assumptions of technological progress or total factor productivity. The results indicate that useful work derived from natural resource exergy is an important factor of production.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 68 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (December)
Pages: 126-140

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2008:i:1-2:p:126-140

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Exergy Energy Efficiency Economic growth United Kingdom;

References

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  1. Wall, Göran & Sciubba, Enrico & Naso, Vincenzo, 1994. "Exergy use in the Italian society," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 19(12), pages 1267-1274.
  2. Warr, Benjamin & Ayres, Robert, 2006. "REXS: A forecasting model for assessing the impact of natural resource consumption and technological change on economic growth," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 329-378, September.
  3. Wall, Göran, 1990. "Exergy conversion in the Japanese society," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 435-444.
  4. Ayres, Robert U. & Warr, Benjamin, 2005. "Accounting for growth: the role of physical work," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-209, June.
  5. Ayres, Robert U. & Ayres, Leslie W. & Pokrovsky, Vladimir, 2005. "On the efficiency of US electricity usage since 1900," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1092-1145.
  6. Schandl, Heinz & Schulz, Niels, 2002. "Changes in the United Kingdom's natural relations in terms of society's metabolism and land-use from 1850 to the present day," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 203-221, May.
  7. Wall, Goran, 1987. "Exergy conversion in the Swedish society," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 55-73, June.
  8. Ayres, Robert U & Ayres, Leslie W & Warr, Benjamin, 2003. "Exergy, power and work in the US economy, 1900–1998," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 219-273.
  9. Krausmann, Fridolin & Schandl, Heinz & Sieferle, Rolf Peter, 2008. "Socio-ecological regime transitions in Austria and the United Kingdom," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 187-201, March.
  10. T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
  11. Kummel, Reiner, 1989. "Energy as a factor of production and entropy as a pollution indicator in macroeconomic modelling," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 161-180, May.
  12. Ertesvåg, Ivar S & Mielnik, Michal, 2000. "Exergy analysis of the Norwegian society," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 25(10), pages 957-973.
  13. Chen, G.Q. & Chen, B., 2007. "Resource analysis of the Chinese society 1980-2002 based on exergy--Part 1: Fossil fuels and energy minerals," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2038-2050, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Teles dos Santos, Moisés & Park, Song Won, 2013. "Sustainability and biophysics basis of technical and economic processes: A survey of the reconciliation by thermodynamics," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 261-271.
  2. John Foster, 2010. "Energy, Aesthetics and Knowledge in Complex Economic Systems," Discussion Papers Series 404, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  3. Roma, Antonio & Pirino, Davide, 2009. "The extraction of natural resources: The role of thermodynamic efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2594-2606, August.

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