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Global energy flows embodied in international trade: A combination of environmentally extended input–output analysis and complex network analysis

B. Chen, J.S. Li, X.F. Wu, M.Y. Han, L. Zeng, Z. Li and G.Q. Chen

Applied Energy, 2018, vol. 210, issue C, 98-107

Abstract: Significant energy flows embodied in international trade have evolved into a complex interconnected flow network. Therefore, this study applies a variety of complex network analysis tools to uncover the structure of embodied energy flow network (EEFN) at global, regional and national level, based on environmentally extended input–output analysis (EEIOA). At global level, small-world nature has been found, implying the economies are highly connected through embodied energy transfer. EEFN is proved to be a heterogeneous network due to the scale-free power-law distribution of degree/strength. At regional level, 4 communities are detected and members in the same regional cooperative organizations, such as EU, ASEAN, NAFTA and AU, tend to be classified into the same community, indicating that EEFN embodies the characteristics of regionalization and multi-polarization. At national level, some key economies, such as USA, China and Germany, are always at the forefront of network-based centrality measures and EEIOA-based accountings. Furthermore, the security of embodied energy supply is evaluated for each economy. Consequently, policy implications of the results are discussed, which could provide additional insights for policy formulation to enhance energy security.

Keywords: Global energy flows; Complex network; Multi-regional input–output analysis; International trade; Energy security (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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