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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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  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Warr, Benjamin & Schandl, Heinz & Ayres, Robert U., 2008. "Long term trends in resource exergy consumption and useful work supplies in the UK, 1900 to 2000," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 126-140, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2008:i:1-2:p:126-140
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2011. "The evolutionary approach to entropy: Reconciling Georgescu-Roegen's natural philosophy with the maximum entropy framework," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 606-616, February.
    2. An, Qier & An, Haizhong & Wang, Lang & Huang, Xuan, 2014. "Structural and regional variations of natural resource production in China based on exergy," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 67-77.
    3. Foster, John, 2011. "Energy, aesthetics and knowledge in complex economic systems," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 88-100.
    4. 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.
    5. Byers, Edward A. & Gasparatos, Alexandros & Serrenho, André C., 2015. "A framework for the exergy analysis of future transport pathways: Application for the United Kingdom transport system 2010–2050," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 849-862.
    6. Warr, Benjamin & Ayres, Robert U., 2012. "Useful work and information as drivers of economic growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 93-102.
    7. repec:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:134-142 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Serrenho, André Cabrera & Warr, Benjamin & Sousa, Tânia & Ayres, Robert U. & Domingos, Tiago, 2016. "Structure and dynamics of useful work along the agriculture-industry-services transition: Portugal from 1856 to 2009," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-21.
    9. repec:eee:ecolec:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:11-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Miguel Palma & Tânia Sousa & Zeus Guevara, 2016. "How Much Detail Should We Use to Compute Societal Aggregated Exergy Efficiencies?," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(5), pages 1-13, May.
    11. Madlener, R. & Alcott, B., 2009. "Energy rebound and economic growth: A review of the main issues and research needs," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 370-376.
    12. 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.
    13. repec:eee:appene:v:206:y:2017:i:c:p:851-857 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Warr, Benjamin & Ayres, Robert & Eisenmenger, Nina & Krausmann, Fridolin & Schandl, Heinz, 2010. "Energy use and economic development: A comparative analysis of useful work supply in Austria, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US during 100Â years of economic growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 1904-1917, August.
    15. Zeus Guevara & Tânia Sousa & Tiago Domingos, 2016. "Insights on Energy Transitions in Mexico from the Analysis of Useful Exergy 1971–2009," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(7), pages 1-29, June.

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