Managing energy intensity could be a make-or-break factor in sustainability transitions. Successful decarbonisation needs more than the right energy mix.

A new study by the LOCOMOTION project suggests it also requires a sound policy mix combining energy efficiency, electrification and demand management accounting for sectoral interdependencies.

Published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology by the Research Group on Energy, Economy and System Dynamics from the University of Valladolid, the study highlights energy intensity as a vital factor shaping our economies. Based on an input-output analysis of the global economy over a 15 years period across 35 sectors, the study analyses how energy patterns impact the economic structure.

The researchers found that successful decarbonisation is dependent on linking energy and industrial policies while taking into account sector interactions: “The decision to ban coal would lead to changes in the mining, electricity generation, and iron and steel sectors. The transition to renewables, in turn, would potentially produce a shift from the mining and refining (of fossil fuels) sectors to those processing the critical raw materials required to deploy the renewable infrastructure”.

You can learn more about the results of this study by reading the full article here