Energy intensity and embodied energy flow in Australia: An input-output analysis

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Decoupling energy use from economic growth is critical for improving energy productivity and mitigating climate change. Input-output databases have been increasingly utilised for consumption-based energy accounting, and for exploring both the direct and indirect influence of energy use. This study performed an environmentally-extended input-output analysis of energy use in Australia from 2006 to 2015 to investigate the total energy intensity of industry sectors, and the embodied energy flow from sources of energy use to the final consumption of commodities. Between 2006 and 2015, the national direct energy intensity reduced by an average of 2% per annum. Nearly all industry sectoral groups reduced their total energy intensity because of direct energy intensity reduction from other or within industry sectoral groups. The difference between the embodied energy use in the import and the export had widened, making Australia a greater net importer of embodied energy with significant outsourcing of direct energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Despite a slight reduction in per capita direct household energy use (3%), the per capita indirect energy use embodied in household commodity consumption increased by 7%. As indirect household energy use is more than three times direct household energy use, improving end use energy efficiency should also consider the embodied energy in commodities. Structural decomposition analysis shows that for the studied period, population growth and per capita demand for imported commodities are two major contributors for the increased total embodied energy in Australia.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lam, KL; Kenway, SJ; Lane, JL; Islam, KMN; Bes de Berc, R

Published Date

  • July 20, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 226 /

Start / End Page

  • 357 - 368

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0959-6526

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.03.322

Citation Source

  • Scopus