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A structural decomposition analysis of global energy footprints

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  • Lan, Jun
  • Malik, Arunima
  • Lenzen, Manfred
  • McBain, Darian
  • Kanemoto, Keiichiro

Abstract

Understanding the drivers of past and present energy consumption trends is important for a range of stakeholders, including governments, businesses and international development organizations, in order to prepare for impacts on global supply chains caused by changes in future energy price or availability shocks. In this paper we use environmentally-extended input–output tables to: (a) quantify the long-term drivers that have led to diversified energy footprint profiles of 186 countries around the world from 1990 to 2010; (b) identify which countries and sectors recorded an increase or decrease in energy footprints during this time period; (c) highlight the effect of international outsourcing of energy-intensive production processes by decomposing the structural and spatial change in energy footprints; and (d) discuss the implications for national economic policy for the identified drivers. To this end, we use a detailed Multi-Regional Input–Output database and three prevalent structural decomposition analysis methods. To reduce biases in the results due to time lapse and currency variations, we convert input–output tables to common US$ and 1990-constant prices. This study provides a broad overview of the magnitude and distribution of the drivers for energy footprints across countries. The results of this study demonstrate that for almost all countries affluence and population growth are driving energy footprints worldwide, which is in part counteracted by the retarding effect of industrial energy intensity. In particular, this study demonstrates that with increasing per-capita GDP, the total energy footprint of a country is increasingly concentrated on imports or consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Lan, Jun & Malik, Arunima & Lenzen, Manfred & McBain, Darian & Kanemoto, Keiichiro, 2016. "A structural decomposition analysis of global energy footprints," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 436-451.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:163:y:2016:i:c:p:436-451
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.10.178
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