Energy Intensity in Northern Europe’s Economic Development – Curse or Bless?

Marko Viiding, Liina Joller


It has been proven that a country’s development level increases with greater access to and use of electricity. However this holds true for lower levels of development – in the light of increasing political commitments for environmental concerns and global warming it is much harder to pinpoint best energy consumption pattern for sustainable economic development. Authors of this article measure energy intensity of the Nordic and Baltic countries by observing returns to GDP from amount of electricity used; comparing this to existing electricity production opportunities and cost. Findings demonstrate that low energy-intensiveness is economically more preferred but not ultimately necessary. Countries with well developed energy supply chains can maintain energy-intensive structure of the economy if the effectiveness of the structure is optimised.


energy intensity; economic development; Nordic and Baltic countries

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