Skip to main content

Energy is development (not just, but also)

In a previous post I suggested that the process of development might not necessarily lead to a great increase of energy per capita consumption (based on the work by Smil). Note, however, that presumes a significant increase in efficiency. The other side of the coin is the lack of access to energy in several developing countries, particularly South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, as can be seen in the graph below (source here, h/t The Economist).
This suggests that the distributive problem (between developed and developing countries) is at the heart of any real reduction of consumption per capita, since one might expect that (even with more efficient technologies) in developing countries, catching up will necessarily lead to higher levels of per capita consumption of energy.

Comments

  1. Matias is an ecological economist!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The inherent problem is what you have said in the past, interpreting the jevons paradox as a substitution, not an income effect.

    ReplyDelete
  3. On a similar note, the problem with many advocators of the degrowth hypothesis often fail to answer crucial parts of skeptics’ arguments, and instead assume their conclusions - see http://rrp.sagepub.com/content/45/1/24.short

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A few brief comments on Brexit and the postmortem of the European Union

Another end of the world is possible
There will be a lot of postmortems for the European Union (EU) after Brexit. Many will suggest that this was a victory against the neoliberal policies of the European Union. See, for example, the first three paragraphs of Paul Mason's column here. And it is true, large contingents of working class people, that have suffered with 'free-market' economics, voted for leaving the union. The union, rightly or wrongly, has been seen as undemocratic and responsible for the economics woes of Europe.

The problem is that while it is true that the EU leaders have been part of the problem and have pursued the neoliberal policies within the framework of the union, sometimes with treaties like the Fiscal Compact, it is far from clear that Brexit and the possible demise of the union, if the fever spreads to France, Germany and other countries with their populations demanding their own referenda, will lead to the abandonment of neoliberal policies. Aust…

A brief note on Venezuela and the turn to the right in Latin America

So besides the coup in Brazil (which was all but confirmed by the last revelations, if you had any doubts), and the electoral victory of Macri in Argentina, the crisis in Venezuela is reaching a critical level, and it would not be surprising if the Maduro administration is recalled, even though right now the referendum is not scheduled yet.

The economy in Venezuela has collapsed (GDP has fallen by about 14% or so in the last two years), inflation has accelerated (to three digit levels; 450% or so according to the IMF), there are shortages of essential goods, recurrent energy blackouts, and all of these aggravated by persistent violence. Contrary to what the press suggests, these events are not new or specific to left of center governments. Similar events occurred in the late 1980s, in the infamous Caracazo, when the fall in oil prices caused an external crisis, inflation, and food shortages, which eventually, after the announcement of a neoliberal economic package that included the i…

What is the 'Classical Dichotomy'?