Why Catalonia will see its energy metabolism increase in the near future: an application of MuSIASEM
This paper applies the so-called Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM) to the economy of the Spanish region of Catalonia. By applying Georgescu-Roegen’s fund-flow model, it arrives at the conclusion that within a context of the end of cheap oil, the current development model based on the growth of low productivity sectors such as services and construction must change. The change is needed not only because of the increasing scarcity of affordable energy carriers, or because of the increasing environmental impact that the present development represents, but also because of an ageing population that demands labour productivity gains. This will imply industry requiring more energy consumption per worker in order to increase its productivity, and therefore its competitiveness. Thus, we conclude that energy intensity, and exosomatic energy metabolism of Catalonia will increase dramatically in the near future unless major conservation efforts are implemented in both the household and transport sectors.
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