Input-output-analysis as a holistic approach to evaluate and rank energy policy actions

Axel Sonntag, Uwe Schubert

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingContribution to conference proceedings


Most industrialized countries put great effort into designing and implementing policies these days that help to reduce CO2 emissions (BMLFUW 2007). Given the global threats due to climate change and the uncertainty regarding the supply of fossil fuels most national governments are advised to even increase their ambition in achieving the related policy goals (IPCC 2007). Therefore one of the most crucial decisions that have to be made is which policy measures should be implemented at all and in which sequence. Due to budget restrictions this choice is not only a question of technical effectiveness but also of economic efficiency. One common method to rank different measures with regard to efficiency is to calculate the resulting CO2 abatement costs (Euro per ton of CO2), these can be compared easily and are thus amenable to ranking, resulting in a "marginal cost curve" for the economy. Usually, the CO2 amount calculated derives from the amount of energy that could be saved during the usage of a specific good over a defined period, often the lifetime of a product. However, to calculate the total amount of CO2 that could be abated by taking certain action, one has to think about the emissions in the production process of the good being replaced, as well. The main objective of this paper is to present a methodology how the concept of covering the emissions - from the cradle to the grave - could be integrated into a model comprehensive but still manageable that can support policy makers in deciding which measures to adopt. In this contribution the authors suggest a model structure that allows coupling the structure and the demand levels from national energy statistics with standard input output statistical data of the same level. The work focuses on two aspects of such an approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTowards a holistic approach based on science and humanity
Editors SCHNITZER, Hans, ULGIATI, Sergio
Place of PublicationGraz, Austria
PublisherVerlag der technischen Universität Graz
Pages351 - 359
ISBN (Print)978-3-85125-018-3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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