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International Handbook on the Economics of Energy

International Handbook on the Economics of Energy

Elgar original reference

Edited by Joanne Evans and Lester C. Hunt

As an essential component for economic growth, energy has a significant impact on the global economy. The need to meet growing energy demand has prompted cutting-edge innovation in clean technology in an attempt to realise environmental and cost objectives, whilst ensuring the security of energy supply. This Handbook offers a comprehensive review of the economics of energy, including contributions from a distinguished array of international specialists. It provides a thorough discussion of the major research issues in this topical field of economics.

Chapter 5: Energy Demand Theory

Kenneth B. Medlock III

Subjects: economics and finance, energy economics, public sector economics


Kenneth B. Medlock III 1 Introduction Energy is crucial to the improvement of social and economic welfare. It is necessary to continued economic activity in modern industrialized nations, and its absence would result in cessation of economic growth and diminishing standards of living. In fact, in developing nations a lack of modern energy services is a principal cause of low levels of economic and social development. Access to electricity promotes social development and improved welfare by allowing greater access to information via computer, radio and television, cleaner means of storing and preparing food, and the attainment of heating and cooling services. Over the last two centuries there has been unprecedented economic growth and radical improvements in standards of living. A major contributing factor has been the replacement of manpower with mechanical power through the development of new technologies. This has provided new opportunities and facilitated significant improvements in productivity. One example of this is the invention of the internal combustion engine and motor vehicle, which along with the consumption of crude oil products, has provided a more expedient means of transporting people and goods, thus creating growth opportunities by connecting markets and facilitating trade. The demand for energy is a derived demand inasmuch as energy’s value is determined by its ability to provide some set of desired services. In particular, when combined with energy-using capital, energy facilitates the provision of goods and services in industry and in the household. Therefore, energy consumption at the individual, household and/ or firm level...

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