Supply versus use designs of environmental extensions in input–output analysis: Conceptual and empirical implications for the case of energy

Wieland, Hanspeter ORCID: and Giljum, Stefan ORCID: and Eisenmenger, Nina and Wiedenhofer, Dominik and Bruckner, Martin ORCID: and Schaffartzik, Anke and Owen, Anne (2020) Supply versus use designs of environmental extensions in input–output analysis: Conceptual and empirical implications for the case of energy. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 24 (3). pp. 548-563. ISSN 10881980

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

Download (2MB) | Preview


Input–output analysis is one of the central methodological pillars of industrial ecology. However, the literature that discusses different structures of environmental extensions (EEs), that is, the scope of physical flows and their attribution to sectors in the monetary input–output table (MIOT), remains fragmented. This article investigates the conceptual and empirical implications of applying two different but frequently used designs of EEs, using the case of energy accounting, where one represents energy supply while the other energy use in the economy. We derive both extensions from an official energy supply–use dataset and apply them to the same single-region input– output (SRIO) model of Austria, thereby isolating the effect that stems from the decision for the extension design. We also crosscheck the SRIO results with energy footprints from the global multi-regional input–output (GMRIO) dataset EXIOBASE. Our results show that the ranking of footprints of final demand categories (e.g., household and export) is sensitive to the extension design and that product-level results can vary by several orders of magnitude. The GMRIO-based comparison further reveals that for a few countries the supply-extension result can be twice the size of the use-extension footprint (e.g., Australia and Norway). We propose a graph approach to provide a generalized framework to disclosing the design of EEs. We discuss the conceptual differences between the two extension designs by applying analogies to hybrid life-cycle assessment and conclude that our findings are relevant for monitoring of energy efficiency and emission reduction targets and corporate footprint accounting.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: H2020European Research Council, Grant/Award Number: 725525; Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Grant/Award Number:MDM-2015-0552
Keywords: energy consumption, energy efficiency, energy flow analysis, energy footprint, environmental input–output analysis, industrial ecology
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Ecological Economics
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2019 10:23
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 10:25
Related URLs:


View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics