Projection of energy-intensive material production for bottom-up scenario building

Heleen Groenenberg, Kornelis Blok, Jeroen Van Der Sluijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The production growth of energy-intensive commodities in physical terms is an important component of bottom-up emission scenarios and a relevant national circumstance to be incorporated in schemes for differentiating greenhouse gas emission allowances. In this study, average future growth rates of physical production are estimated for various branches of the energy-intensive industry in a wide range of countries. To this end, historic patterns of growth were analysed on a per capita basis from the 1980s onwards. Per capita production levels of steel, cement, and refinery products tend to level off for all countries as per capita income increases. These stabilisation levels, however, differ by a factor of 10 from country to country. Petrochemical and total paper and board production per capita, on the contrary, keeps on increasing with increasing income, and per capita aluminium production shows a rather weak relationship to income. Aggregated annual growth of physical production of energy-intensive commodities in this time period amounted to 5.9% in low, 1.1% in middle, and 0.8% in high-income countries. Assuming that a country experiences declining growth rates of physical production as its income increases, these aggregated figures may be used to estimate future growth rates. Projections thus based on recent growth trends suggest that earlier estimates may be improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-99
Number of pages25
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Commodities
  • Dematerialization
  • Developing countries
  • Greenhouse gas emissions scenarios
  • Heavy industry
  • Income


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