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Energy Consumption by Sector Per Unit of Economic Output


5 Sector Current GSP ChartThis is the 9th in a series of posts on energy consumption in Missouri. I have compared Missouri energy consumption to four surrounding states, energy consumption by source, and in my last two post, I reported total energy consumption by sector and per capita energy consumption by sector. For a list of all previous posts, see here.

Missouri’s gross state product grew from $13.6 billion to $243.4 billion between 1963 and 2010. Thus, even if Missouri was using the same amount of energy to produce a unit of economic output, the total amount of energy consumed would grow by more than 17 times. Is Missouri using energy more efficiently per unit of economic output?

The graphs at right show the amount of energy used in Missouri per dollar of Gross State Product (GSP) in current dollars – that is, not adjusted for inflation. The first one shows the data with electricity considered as a separate sector. The dark blue line at the top represents consumption of electricity, the red line represents residential energy consumption, the green line commercial, the purple line industrial, and the light blue line transportation. The amount of energy required to produce a dollar of economic output has declined markedly in all sectors.

4 Sector Current GSP ChartThe second graph on the right shows Missouri per capita energy consumption by sector with electrical power considered as a source that is consumed in the other four sectors. The Purple line represents transportation, the green line represents industrial, and the red line represents commercial, and the blue line represents residential. This graph shows that the Industrial Sector started as the most energy intense sector, but by 2010 had become the least energy intense. The Industrial, Transportation, and Residential Sectors all markedly increased their energy efficiency. The Commercial Sector also increased its energy efficiency, but much less than did the others. The shape of the lines suggests that the greatest gains in efficiency came the early 1980s, and that gains have been slower since then.

The third graph at right shows Missouri electricity consumption from 1960-2010 by sector. The transportation sector is not a significant consumer of electricity and has been omitted. When we looked at per capita consumption, the graph showed that per capita energy consumption had skyrocketed. This graph, however, shows that per unit of economic output, electrical consumption has decreased significantly in all three sectors.

Electricity Current GSP ChartWithout adjusting for inflation, the amount of energy required to produce a unit of economic output appears to have plummeted in all sectors. However, the effect of inflation means that a dollar purchases less economic output over time. Thus, during the early years of the graph, a dollar of economic output was more output than in the later years – the number of Btu required should decline, even if energy efficiency remained the same.

In my next post I will look at the amount of Btu required to produce a unit of economic output, adjusting for the effects of inflation.


For energy consumption: The data for this post is not found on a single source. It was pieced together from data available at the State Energy Data System(SEDS): 1960-2010 (Complete), Missouri State Profile and Energy Estimates, Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/state/seds/seds-data-complete.cfm?sid=MO#Consumption.

For GSP: GDP and Personal Income, Regional Data, Bureau of Economic Analysis, http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=70&step=1#reqid=70&step=1&isuri=1.

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