21 Nov '11, 1pm

Is it really possible to decouple GDP Growth from Energy Growth?

In recent years, we have heard statements indicating that it is possible to decouple GDP growth from energy growth. I have been looking at the relationship between world GDP and world energy use and am becoming increasingly skeptical that such a decoupling is really possible. Figure 1. Growth in world energy consumption (based on BP data) and growth in world real GDP Prior to 2000, world real GDP (based on USDA Economic Research Institute data ) was indeed growing faster than energy use, as measured by BP Statistical Data. Between 1980 and 2000, world real GDP growth averaged a little under 3% per year, and world energy growth averaged a little under 2% per year, so GDP growth increased about 1% more per year than energy use. Since 2000, energy use has grown approximately as fast as world real GDP–increases for both have averaged about 2.5% per year growth. This is not wha...

Full article: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8615

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