Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Subtle But Very Important Point

U.S. Department of Energy:
At the level of the aggregate economy (or even at the level of an end-use sector) energy efficiency is not a meaningful concept because of the heterogeneous nature of the output. The production of a huge number of goods, the mixing of the transport of freight and people, and the variety of housing and climates makes an aggregate energy intensity number based on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a number that disguises rather than illuminates. A simple intensity measure can be calculated (as Energy/GDP), but this number has little information content without the underlying sector detail.

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