The intensity of final energy, that is the ratio of final energy consumption to gross domestic product, has been reduced since 1973 in almost all Common Market Countries. This decrease has been often interpreted as a genuine improvement in energy efficiency (in the sense that physical production or consumption can be kept constant by using less energy). But there are other technical and economic factors which contribute to decreasing intensity of final energy: solid and liquid fuels are substituted by gas, electricity, or district heat, the latter having higher conversion efficiencies; the service sector is growing faster than energy-intensive industry in most Member Countries, and within industry low-energy-intensive sectors are generally increasing their shares of industrial production (interindustrial structural change). Moreover, annual fluctuations of final energy intensity are due to variations in weather or consumer stocks, or structural changes in industry due to the business cycle.
KeywordsBusiness Cycle Improve Energy Efficiency Final Energy High Conversion Efficiency Primary Energy Consumption
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