Major Economies: Black Energy Intensity and Policy Implications


Author: Peter Yang, Case Western Reserve University, United States of America
Email: [email protected]
Published: February 2015

Citation: Yang, P. (2015). Major Economies: Black Energy Intensity and Policy Implications. IAFOR Journal of Sustainability, Energy & the Environment, 2(1).


This study attempted to identify common trends for the "black" economic development of the major developed and developing countries as well as exceptions to these trends. It investigated these economies' energy and carbon dependences in the last 44 years. Drawing on the traditional concept of "energy intensity," this study developed the term of "black energy intensity" to account for the intensity of fossil fuels in the total energy mix as opposed to that of renewable energy sources. Using time series of fossil fuels and nuclear power consumption, population, GDP data of 14 major economies and a combination of statistical analytical methods, it studied the trends of these economies in fossil and non-renewable fuel consumption and dependence and the related CO2 emissions individually and in groups. Based on the analysis of the group trends and exceptions of the main developed and developing economies' carbon-based energy intensities and carbon intensities, the study discussed the policy implications of these findings for these economies' future sustainable development.


black energy, black energy intensity, black energy dependence, oil dependence, coal dependence, gas dependence, nuclear dependence, carbon intensity