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East versus West: Energy intensity in coal-rich Europe, 1800–2000

Nielsen, Hana LU ; Warde, Paul and Kander, Astrid LU (2018) In Energy Policy 122. p.75-83
Abstract
This paper presents a stylized graph of the energy intensities in two typical European sets of countries: the East and the West, in parallel to the existing research on the European North – South. The coal-rich West and East differ from the coal-poor South and North, in that their pattern is an inverted U-curve, while both North and South have consistently declining energy intensities. Energy intensity peaks about 50 years earlier in the West than in the East. For the first time we have been able to demonstrate that the gap between the West and East actually started in the 1950s, and to single out the main drivers behind the East European inefficiency. It was not general systematic wastefulness or lack of innovations, but surprisingly for... (More)
This paper presents a stylized graph of the energy intensities in two typical European sets of countries: the East and the West, in parallel to the existing research on the European North – South. The coal-rich West and East differ from the coal-poor South and North, in that their pattern is an inverted U-curve, while both North and South have consistently declining energy intensities. Energy intensity peaks about 50 years earlier in the West than in the East. For the first time we have been able to demonstrate that the gap between the West and East actually started in the 1950s, and to single out the main drivers behind the East European inefficiency. It was not general systematic wastefulness or lack of innovations, but surprisingly for a planned economy, it was the inefficiency in the expanding electricity system that accounted for most of the effect, together with the structural change towards heavy industrial production. As much of the industrial production became electrified and powered by less efficient electricity, this had a snowball effect through the whole value chain of the production. The negative impact of the planned economy on energy intensity was largest between 1948 and 1970. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Energy Policy
volume
122
pages
75 - 83
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85050178846
ISSN
1873-6777
DOI
10.1016/j.enpol.2018.07.006
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7f1d3661-534e-4a31-8644-a8881b640efa
date added to LUP
2018-07-23 13:02:16
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:22:51
@article{7f1d3661-534e-4a31-8644-a8881b640efa,
  abstract     = {This paper presents a stylized graph of the energy intensities in two typical European sets of countries: the East and the West, in parallel to the existing research on the European North – South. The coal-rich West and East differ from the coal-poor South and North, in that their pattern is an inverted U-curve, while both North and South have consistently declining energy intensities. Energy intensity peaks about 50 years earlier in the West than in the East. For the first time we have been able to demonstrate that the gap between the West and East actually started in the 1950s, and to single out the main drivers behind the East European inefficiency. It was not general systematic wastefulness or lack of innovations, but surprisingly for a planned economy, it was the inefficiency in the expanding electricity system that accounted for most of the effect, together with the structural change towards heavy industrial production. As much of the industrial production became electrified and powered by less efficient electricity, this had a snowball effect through the whole value chain of the production. The negative impact of the planned economy on energy intensity was largest between 1948 and 1970.},
  author       = {Nielsen, Hana and Warde, Paul and Kander, Astrid},
  issn         = {1873-6777},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {75--83},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Energy Policy},
  title        = {East versus West: Energy intensity in coal-rich Europe, 1800–2000},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2018.07.006},
  volume       = {122},
  year         = {2018},
}