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Energy use and CO2 emissions in the UK universities: an extended Kaya identity analysis

Eskander, Shaikh M.S.U. and Nitschke, Jakob (2021) Energy use and CO2 emissions in the UK universities: an extended Kaya identity analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production, 309. ISSN 0959-6526

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.127199

Abstract

We investigate the progress of the UK universities in greening their energy sources in line with the UK's goal of becoming a net-zero economy by 2050. Using the HESA estate management data for 116 universities over 2012-13 to 2018–19, we employ a Log Mean Divisa Index decomposition method within an extended Kaya identity framework to decouple the changes in total carbon emissions from a range of variables, with a special focus on the impact of different energy sources on energy use and carbon efficiency measures. Overall, between 2012-13 and 2018–19, universities have reduced emissions by 29% although their energy consumption remained mostly stable, implying that these reductions mostly stemmed from reductions in emission coefficient effect (which measures carbon efficiency of energy generation) by 24% and energy intensity effect by 25%. Consistently, estimated correlation coefficients confirm that emission coefficient, intensity, and affluence effects are major contributors behind the annual change in total emissions, with estimated correlation coefficients being 0.42, 0.66, and −0.24, respectively. The share of renewable energy sources was reduced by 2.2%, which is a major reason, in addition to increased number of students, behind the sector's overall failure achieve the 2020 goal of reducing emissions by 43% from the 2005 level. Finally, our results also expose considerable regional variations in mitigating and worsening factors behind emissions that calls for stronger coordination and supervision by policymakers.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-c...
Additional Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q4 - Energy > Q41 - Demand and Supply
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q4 - Energy > Q42 - Alternative Energy Sources
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2021 23:14
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 01:11
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/110764

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