(De)coupling Analysis with Focus on Energy Consumption in EU Countries and Its Spatial Evaluation
HARD, POST-OFFICE BOX, 10-718 OLSZTYN 5, POLAND
Energy is a sector that has a direct impact on quality of life and economic growth. The production and use of energy satisfies human needs, but also gives rise to a host of adverse environmental pressures, such as greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, waste generation and many other negative consequences. Our paper presents a cross-country comparison of decoupling trends in order to assess the impact of economic growth on energy consumption and production of greenhouse gas emissions. The issue of using renewable energy sources in EU countries is also taken into consideration. Decoupling analysis is performed for the time period 2008 and 2016. The results of analysis suggest that resource decoupling (energy consumption) and impact decoupling (GHG emissions) of economic growth (measured in GDP) occur in most observed partial variables, which can be considered as a positive trend. On the other hand, an increased share of renewables in energy production couples in most countries with economic growth, which indicates the positive effect referring to the third-stage of Environmental Kuznets Curve, where the demand for environmental protection tends to increase, leading to a development path characterized by both economic growth and environmental quality improvements. The results of the analysis point to spatial randomness both within the EU and at the country level.
EU countries, Moran index, spatial evaluation, decoupling index