Energy - and CO2 Intensities during the 19th and 20th Centuries: Sweden versus Spain
We examine energy and CO2 intensities (energy use / GDP and CO2 emissions / GDP) in Sweden and Spain during the last two hundred years. The first aim is to establish reliable and comparable time-series. We include all energy that involves some human effort in its capture. Therefore, not only do we include modern energy carriers such as coal, oil, and electricity, but also we aim to account for firewood, peat, direct working water, and wind in order to have a more accurate view of energy intensities in the 19th century. The GDP series rely on the most up to date figures provided by economic historians in the two countries. Energy data for Sweden are based on the data and methods in Kander’s doctoral thesis (2002) with the addition of a new estimate of wind used by sailing ships. For Spain, we aim to establish consistent time-series for energy and CO2. Existing data for Spain rarely extend before 1950. Furthermore, for the last 50 years the data sources differ significantly. While IEA data suggest increasing energy use per unit of output, national energy consumption data indicate a flat or decreasing pattern. In all cases, our preliminary results show very different energy and CO2 intensity paths for Sweden and Spain over time. The second aim of the paper is to analyse this outcome. The differences observed may be related to the differing economic structures, differing incentives for technical change, and the different climatic conditions in the two countries.
- Economic History