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La gran transformación del sector agroalimentario español. Un análisis desde la perspectiva energética (1960-2010)


  • Juan Infante Amate


  • Eduardo Aguilera
  • Manuel González de Molina


The main objective of this work is to reconstruct the consumption of the different types of energy by the Spanish agri-food system (AFS) between 1960 and 2010. The initial hypothesis, of a high increase in energy consumption during that period, was derived from the evidence of a growing consumption of capital and inputs in the activities related with production and management of food products in Spain. According to our results, energy consumption in the whole Spanish agro-food chain has increased by a factor of 10. It has grown at a much faster pace than total energy consumption, than total food production and even than GDP. Transport and agriculture are the sectors with the most relevant energy use in the studied period, representing 47-60% of total AFS consumption. In a first stage, agricultural production absorbed the majority of the growth in energy consumption, while since 1985 other sectors have pushed the continuation of the growth. Our results indicate that roughly one fifth of final energy consumed by Spanish economy is related.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Infante Amate & Eduardo Aguilera & Manuel González de Molina, 2014. "La gran transformación del sector agroalimentario español. Un análisis desde la perspectiva energética (1960-2010)," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1403, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.
  • Handle: RePEc:seh:wpaper:1403

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    Cited by:

    1. Soto, David & Infante-Amate, Juan & Guzmán, Gloria I. & Cid, Antonio & Aguilera, Eduardo & García, Roberto & González de Molina, Manuel, 2016. "The social metabolism of biomass in Spain, 1900–2008: From food to feed-oriented changes in the agro-ecosystems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 130-138.

    More about this item


    Agri-food System; Energy Balances; Life Cycle Assessment; EROI; Degrowth; Food History;

    JEL classification:

    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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