Energy use and economic development: A comparative analysis of useful work supply in Austria, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US during 100 years of economic growth
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2010

This paper presents a societal level exergy analysis approach developed to analyse transitions in the way that energy is supplied and contributes to economic growth in the UK, the US, Austria and Japan, throughout the last century. We assess changes in exergy and useful work consumption, energy efficiency and related GDP intensity measures of each economy. The novel data provided elucidate certain characteristics of divergence and commonality in the energy transitions studied. The results indicate that in each country the processes of industrialization, urbanisation and electrification are characterised by a marked increase in exergy and useful work supplies and per capita intensities. There is a common and continuous decrease in the exergy intensity of GDP. Moreover for each country studied the trend of increasing useful work intensity of GDP reversed in the early 1970s coincident with the first oil crisis.

Economic growth


Energy transition

Energy consumption

Useful work



B. Warr


Robert U. Ayres

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Fysisk resursteori

N. Eisenmenger

Alpen-Adria Universitaet (AAU)

F. Krausmann

Alpen-Adria Universitaet (AAU)

H. Schandl

CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems

Ecological Economics

0921-8009 (ISSN)

Vol. 69 10 1904-1917


Annan naturresursteknik



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