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Energy Consumption per Unit of Gross State Product

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Current $ GSP ChartIn my previous post, I compared per capita energy consumption between Missouri and four surrounding states. Energy consumption is a relevant environmental topic because so many environmental issues come from the way we obtain energy and from the emissions that occur when we use it.

In this post, I compare Missouri and four surrounding states on how many Btu were consumed per dollar of GSP. The first graph at right presents the data without adjusting for inflation. Across all states, the number of Btu consumed per dollar of economic output has declined substantially – by more than half in all cases.

The graph is misleading, however. Because of inflation, a dollar buys less economic output than it used to. Since you’re buying less output, the number of Btu required to make it should also be less, even if energy efficiency does not improve.

2005 $ GSP ChartThe second graph shows the data adjusted for inflation (constant 2005 dollars). It covers fewer years than the previous graph: 1997-2010. This graph shows a slow, gradual decline in Btu required for a unit of economic output in all states except Iowa. You may recall from my previous post that Iowa was alone among the five states in showing an increase in per capita energy consumption over time.

The amount of energy required for a unit of economic output decreased most in Arkansas, where it decreased by about 20% over the entire period. In Missouri the decrease was 4.5% over the period. Spread over 13 years, it is a very small decrease!

Source:

Missouri Energy Consumption, Clean Energy in My State, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Department of Energy, http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/states/consumption.cfm?state=MO&dollars=0#tecpd.

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