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200 years diversifying the energy mix? Diversification paths of the energy baskets of European early comers vs. latecomers

Author

Listed:
  • Rubio-Varas, Mar

    () (Departamento de Economía. Universidad Pública de Navarra)

  • Muñoz-Delgado, Beatriz

    () (Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia Económica. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

Abstract

The changes in the composition of the energy basket in the long run lead to energy transitions. Primary energy substitution models allow addressing these phenomena. However, the diversification paths of the energy mix of different countries in a long term compared perspective have not been studied yet. This paper proposes an indicator, based on the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, the Energy Mix Concentration Index (EMCI), to quantify the degree of diversification of the primary energy basket of eight European countries over the last two centuries. The results reveal that early comers, which are large energy consumers, required a huge concentration of their energy basket in the 19th century; however, the observed countries had converged to similar levels of diversification of their energy mixes from the second half of the 20th century, and more crucially after the oil crises. For some countries, today’s degree of diversification is the largest in their energy histories, but it is not the case for all of them. Our results suggest that small energy consuming countries would be able to achieve higher diversification, and therefore to do a faster transition to a low carbon economy, than large energy consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Rubio-Varas, Mar & Muñoz-Delgado, Beatriz, 2017. "200 years diversifying the energy mix? Diversification paths of the energy baskets of European early comers vs. latecomers," Working Papers in Economic History 2017/01, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  • Handle: RePEc:uam:wpapeh:201701
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    energy mix; energy transitions; energy baskets; energy diversification; energy concentration index; Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N70 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General

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