POSTED: January 9, 2019
Economy | System Dynamics
Could energetic constraints be slowing economic growth? | Seminar w Paul Brockway, 7 Feb 2019
CC.0 :: Kent Lee /

Could energetic constraints be slowing economic growth?

Seminar w Paul Brockway
Thursday, 7 Feb 2019

Download: The presentation slides are available in PDF (4.5MB).

Access to cheap and widely available fossil fuels powered global economic growth for over 250 years. However, the last decade has seen a slowdown in the global economy – and people (governments, economists) are looking for answers. Labour productivity is seen as a prime candidate. But are we looking in the wrong place?

This seminar presents recent research suggesting energetic constraints could be being reached. First, is a reduction in available or ‘net’ energy, since extracting fossil fuels in harder-to-reach places requires more energy inputs. Second, historical gains in energy efficiency – which have been a key engine of economic growth – are slowing down due to thermodynamic limits.


Dr Paul Brockway is EPSRC Independent Research Fellow in Energy and Economics at the University of Leeds. His research interests focus on providing new insights to the global energy-GDP decoupling problem. He uses an emerging Exergy Economics approach, which links thermodynamic (primary-final-useful) energy use and efficiency within energy-economy modelling frameworks.


Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity
Room 22 BA 02
University of Surrey
Guildford GU2 7XH


Thursday, 7 February 2019


All welcome. No registration required. For further enquiries, please contact Catherine Koch.

No Replies yet