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Indicator 4 0 : Energy efficiency of the economy

Goal: Minnesota will have sustainable, strong economic growth. Economic growth creates jobs and may increase opportunities for better jobs and improved living standards. Strong and sustainable economic growth can be accomplished through the complementary long-term objectives of economic prosperity and environmental protection. Minnesota has traditionally been recognized as a state with a high quality of life driven by a strong economy. Sustainable, strong economic growth puts Minnesota in a better position to achieve other Minnesota Milestones goals.

Rationale: Improving the energy efficiency of Minnesota's economy is an important step in maintaining long-term economic growth while minimizing cost and environmental impact.

Energy consumed, trillion BTUs

Year
19901,366.9
19911,412.3
19921,425.3
19931,488.6
19941,533.5
19951,631.9
19961,676.0
19971,675.3
19981,648.5
19991,675.3
graph

Data source: Minnesota Department of Public Service and U.S. Department of Commerce

Ratio of gross state product to energy consumed

Year
1990$85.33
1991$82.79
1992$86.09
1993$82.73
1994$84.89
1995$81.99
1996$84.45
1997$89.78
1998$96.11
1999$99.75
graph

Data source: Minnesota Department of Public Service and U.S. Department of Commerce

About this indicator: The energy efficiency of the economy generally improved during the 1990s. The amount of gross state product produced for every trillion BTUs was stagnant during the early 1990s, but increased 22 percent between 1995 and 1999. A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a standard measure of energy.

The upward trend of this indicator likely means Minnesota's economy is using more energy-efficient production and consumption technologies. In addition, it also probably reflects the economy becoming less industrial and more service-based. A service-based economy tends to use less energy than a manufacturing and industrial-based economy. Getting more out of each unit of energy results in energy and cost savings when manufacturing and delivering products and services and in turn, purchasing those products and services.

For comparison: The national ratio of gross state product to energy consumption rose from $78.88 in 1990 to $93.37 in 1999. Minnesota had ratios of $85.33 and $99.75 respectively.

Things to think about: While Minnesota's population grew nearly 9 percent between 1990 and 1999, Minnesota's inflation-adjusted gross state product rose 43 percent and Minnesota's energy consumption rose more than 22 percent during the same time period. As a result, the amount of energy used per person increased almost 13 percent between 1990 and 1999, but the amount of gross state product per person rose over 30 percent during that same period.

Technical notes: Gross state product figures are adjusted for inflation and reported in 1996 dollars. Energy data includes all forms of energy consumption.

Sources:

  • U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, State Energy Data Report 1999, www.eia.doe.gov
  • U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, regional accounts data, www.bea.doc.gov/bea/regional/data.htm

Related data trends:

Technical problems? Contact: demography.helpline@state.mn.us