Applying physical input–output tables of energy to estimate the energy ecological footprint (EEF) of Galicia (NW Spain)

Nowadays, the achievement of sustainable development constitutes an important constraint in the design of energy policies, being necessary the development of reliable indicators to obtain helpful information about the use of energy resources. The ecological footprint (EF) provides a referential framework for the analysis of human demand for bioproductivity, including energy issues. In this article, the theoretical bases of the footprint analysis are described by applying input–output tables of energy to estimate the Galician energy ecological footprint (EEF). It is concluded that the location of highly polluting industries in Galicia makes the Galician EEF quite higher than more developed regions of Spain. The relevance of the outer component of the Galician EEF is also studied. First, available information seems to indicate that the energy incorporated to the trading of manufactured goods would notably increase the Galician consumption of energy. On the other hand, the inclusion of electricity trade in the EEF analysis, including an adjustment, following the same philosophy as with manufactured goods is proposed. This adjustment would substantially reduce the Galician EEF, as the exported electricity widely exceeds the imported one.

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