Japan’s Low-growth Economy from the Viewpoint of Energy Quality


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Authors

  • Yuka Nakajima Department of Systems Innovation, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokyo (Presently Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), Tokyo, Japan,
  • Jun Matsushima Department of Environment Systems, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1129-3964

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32479/ijeep.12521

Keywords:

low-growth economy, energy quality, energy return on investment, economic production

Abstract

To investigate the possible cause of Japan’s low-growth economy, we analyze the correlation between the quality of energy and economic production such as real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and energy intensity over the 52-year period from 1965 to 2017. Corrections are made for the quality of energy using two approaches—a physical-based quality correction (i.e., transformity) and an economics-based quality correction. We find that energy quality affects economic production, and that real GDP correlates with quality-corrected final energy consumption. We imply that economic inactivity due to the decline in energy acquisition capacity represented by the decline in societal-scale EROI (Energy Return on Investment) may be directly linked to the low economy growth. We also find that the energy intensity decreases as the quality of energy used improves, and that regardless of quality correction, the energy intensity decreases as the electrification rate increases. Finally, we conclude that the quantity and quality of energy are closely related to the performance of the Japanese economy and point out the importance of energy quality in Japan—a country that has a low energy self-sufficiency rate in an era when the supply of energy is being depleted.

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Author Biography

Jun Matsushima, Department of Environment Systems, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Department of Environment Systems, Professor

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Published

2022-01-19

How to Cite

Nakajima, Y., & Matsushima, J. (2022). Japan’s Low-growth Economy from the Viewpoint of Energy Quality. International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, 12(1), 460–468. https://doi.org/10.32479/ijeep.12521

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Articles