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200 years diversifying the energy mix? Diversification paths of the energy baskets of European early comers vs. latecomers

Mar Rubio-Varas () and Beatriz Muñoz-Delgado ()
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Mar Rubio-Varas: Departamento de Economía. Universidad Pública de Navarra
Beatriz Muñoz-Delgado: Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia Económica. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Beatriz Muñoz Delgado () and Maria del Mar Rubio Varas

No 2017/01, Working Papers in Economic History from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History)

Abstract: The changes in the composition of the energy basket in the long run lead to energy transitions. Primary energy substitution models allow addressing these phenomena. However, the diversification paths of the energy mix of different countries in a long term compared perspective have not been studied yet. This paper proposes an indicator, based on the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, the Energy Mix Concentration Index (EMCI), to quantify the degree of diversification of the primary energy basket of eight European countries over the last two centuries. The results reveal that early comers, which are large energy consumers, required a huge concentration of their energy basket in the 19th century; however, the observed countries had converged to similar levels of diversification of their energy mixes from the second half of the 20th century, and more crucially after the oil crises. For some countries, today’s degree of diversification is the largest in their energy histories, but it is not the case for all of them. Our results suggest that small energy consuming countries would be able to achieve higher diversification, and therefore to do a faster transition to a low carbon economy, than large energy consumers.

Keywords: energy mix; energy transitions; energy baskets; energy diversification; energy concentration index; Europe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C43 N50 N70 O13 O33 Q40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 17 pages
Date: 2017-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene and nep-his
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