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Historical impacts of ICTs

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October 2018 to March 2020

Project team

Mona Chitnis

Shivani Taneja

Steven Robert Sorrell

Roger Fouquet

This project estimates the historical relationship between energy demand and investment in ICT at sector and economy-wide levels.

Estimating historical impacts of ICTs on energy consumption

This project is using panel data econometric techniques to estimate the historical impact of ICTs on energy consumption by producers in developed countries. The project is relevant to the determinants of energy consumption in the industrial and commercial sectors of the economy, as well to the contribution of ICTs to productivity improvements and economic growth. The key question is whether ICTs have contributed to increased or reduced energy consumption by OECD producers over the last three decades, and how this impact has varied between different countries, sectors, time periods and energy carriers.

What we are asking

  • What has been the net impact of ICTs on the demand for energy by OECD producers over the last three decades?
  • How have these impacts varied between different countries, sectors and energy carriers?
  • How have these impacts varied over time?
  • How much confidence can we have in these estimated impacts?
  • What factors explain these impacts?
  • What implications does this have for climate policy?

Banner photo credit: Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash