This paper analyzes the relationship between information and communication technology (ICT) and energy demand. We construct a comprehensive cross-country cross-industry panel data set covering 13 years, 10 OECD countries, and 27 industries. Using up to 2889 country-industry observations, we find that: (1) ICT capital is associated with a significant reduction in energy demand. (2) This relationship differs with regard to different types of energy. ICT use is not significantly correlated with electricity demand, but is significantly related to a eduction in non-electric energy demand. That is, ICT use comes with a reduction in total energy demand and an increase in the relative demand for electric over non-electric energy.

Rexhäuser, Sascha, Patrick Schulte und Heinz Welsch (2013), ICT and the Demand for Energy: Evidence from OECD Countries, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 13-116, Mannheim. Download


Rexhäuser, Sascha
Schulte, Patrick
Welsch, Heinz


Technical Change; ICT; energy demand; energy efficiency; energy mix; Green IT; cross-country cross-industry data; environmental policy