This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 07, 2002

Manufacturing Energy Use Grew Slower Than GDP in the 90s

A recent comparison of manufacturing energy consumption surveys from 1994 and 1998 shows that U.S. manufacturing energy use grew much slower than the gross domestic product (GDP) over that time period. The comparison, performed by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA), found that the GDP for manufacturing grew 5 percent annually during the four-year period, while energy consumption only increased 1.8 percent per year. Even counting the use of energy products as a manufacturing raw material—such as using oil to make petroleum products or using coal to make steel—yields a growth rate of only 2.4 percent per year, still much smaller than the GDP growth rate.

The report notes that some of the slow growth in energy use is due to a shift from energy-intensive manufacturing to less energy-intensive high-tech industries. But the report also credits energy efficiency improvements as a partial cause of the slow growth in energy use, specifically citing industry participation in DOE's Industries of the Future. See the report on the EIA Web site.

For more information about Industries of the Future, see the Industrial Technologies Program, part of DOE's reorganized Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.