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European Industries’ Energy Efficiency under Different Technological Regimes: The Role of CO2 Emissions, Climate, Path Dependence and Energy Mix

Abstract:
The assessment of industrial-level energy efficiency's (EE) development is a critical research topic that has entrenched in the global battle against climate change. Under the Energy Efficiency Directives 2012/27/EU and 2018/2002/EU, European Commission sets specific industrial energy efficiency targets, rules and obligations for the 2020-2030 period aiming, among others, at specific energy intensity reduction and energy efficiency improvements. In this paper we use a balanced panel of fourteen European industries from twenty-seven countries for the period 1995-2011 under a metatechnology framework. The aim of this study is to evaluate, at a first stage, the industrial total factor energy efficiency (TFEE) at a national and European level by incorporating technological heterogeneity through a nonparametric approach. Reflecting the divergent views on the importance of desirable and undesirable outcomes in the pursuit of TFEE, we additionally estimate industrial performance by prioritizing either economic or environmental aspects. At the second stage of our analysis, econometric models are applied to investigate the main factors of industrial TFEE using sector specific and country characteristics while we further proceed with a β and σ-convergence analysis for our TFEE measures. The results of this study reveal that small-scale economies exhibit persistent high TFEE scores. At the same time, TFEE determinants suggest that path dependence phenomena have a strong presence, climatic characteristics occur while energy mix displays both linear and non-linear relationship. Either considering one desirable output or consolidating the undesirable output in the production function our results indicate a strong evidence of conditional and unconditional convergence in TFEE scores.

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Keywords: European industries, Total Factor Energy Efficiency, Metafrontier, Directional Distance Function, Energy mix, Path dependence, Convergence

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.1.este

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Published in Volume 42, Number 1 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.

 

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