Sunday, February 6, 2011

UK energy consumption has been flat for 40 years

What does economic growth imply for energy consumption?

The data for the UK tells an interesting story. Since 1970, our primary energy consumption, measured on oil equivalent, has remained virtually flat. Over the last two or three years, it has actually declined slightly.

Of course, the chart for other countries, paricularly those in the developing world could be quite different. However, techological innovation and structural ecconomic change can often have powerful implications for energy consumption. Growth does not necessarily mean higher energy usage.

This, I believe, is an important point when considering the climate change issue.

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