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ICT Development and Sustainable Energy Consumption: A Perspective of Energy Productivity

Zheming Yan (), Rui Shi () and Zhiming Yang ()
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Zheming Yan: International Business School, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
Rui Shi: International Business School, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
Zhiming Yang: Donlinks School of Economics and Management, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 7, 1-15

Abstract: The information and communication technology (ICT) is closely related to the future of global energy consumption, not only because the ICT equipment itself increasingly consumes energy, but also because it is a general-purpose technology which may affect energy use of almost all sectors. Given the controversy over the net energy-saving effect of ICT, this paper focuses on a new perspective, i.e., energy productivity, to investigate the relationship between ICT development and energy consumption. Using a data panel of 50 economies over the period of 1995 to 2013, results of the Malmquist energy productivity index generally indicate an unbalanced development of energy productivity across the globe, while results of the patent-based ICT knowledge stock indicate a huge gap of ICT development comparing the high-income economies with the others. Furthermore, regression results indicate that ICT development is significantly related to energy productivity improvement. Finally, this paper suggests accelerating ICT development in underdeveloped economies, given the global common task of sustainable energy consumption.

Keywords: ICT; knowledge stock; energy consumption; sustainability; energy productivity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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