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From the Celtic Tiger to the Celtic Phoenix: The metabolic profile of Ireland and the main drivers of energy change

Andreoni, Valeria (2019) From the Celtic Tiger to the Celtic Phoenix: The metabolic profile of Ireland and the main drivers of energy change. Journal of Cleaner Production. ISSN 0959-6526

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Abstract

In this paper, the metabolic profile of Ireland and the main drivers of energy variations are analysed for the period 1998–2014. By considering the years that extend from the Celtic Tiger to the Celtic Phoenix, the socio-economic and energy variables are analysed during periods of economic growth and recession. The main objective is to investigate how demographic and economic trends have influenced the energy used across different levels of analysis. The potential implications of economic growth and population structure are also discussed. The main results show that the standard of living has been the main factor influencing the energy consumption increase. In addition, the reduction of the economic energy intensity, driven by structural changes and implementation of energy efficiency action plans, has contributed to reduce the energy used in relation to gross domestic product and human time. Being characterised by one of the largest financial crashes and one of the quickest economic recovery, together with one of the highest population increase across European Union countries, Ireland represents an interesting case study to investigate the relationships existing between socio-economic and energy variables. The results can support the design of policies oriented to achieve sustainable energy strategies.

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