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Changing patterns of electricity use in European manufacturing: A decomposition analysis

Lars Wenzel and Andre Wolf

No 150, HWWI Research Papers from Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI)

Abstract: This paper sets out to investigate the changing patterns of electricity intensity in European manufacturing for the time span 2000-2011. While GVA in Manufacturing has grown and electricity use has declined, it is not clear that this decrease in intensity is directly associated with improvements in technology. Decomposition of the effect suggests that a switch towards less energy intensive sectors accounted for roughly 10% of the total change in electricity intensity. A further level of disaggregation was added in order to account for the factor mix in the form of potential substitution between labor and electricity. The factor mix effect was largely positive, implying that substitution from labor to electricity has been the norm. The average decrease in labor intensity has been more pronounced than the corresponding decrease in electricity intensity. Accordingly, aggregate changes cannot purely be attributed to less electricity-dependent modes of production, but are rather due to general improvements in productivity. Interestingly, this does not appear to be driven by factor prices, as electricity prices grew significantly more than wage compensations within the period at hand.

Keywords: decomposition analysis; electricity intensity; European manufacturing; Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff, nep-ene and nep-eur
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