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The US economy is decoupling from electricity generation

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
  • Michael J. Coren
By Michael J. Coren

Climate and emerging industries editor


For centuries, gross domestic product and energy have risen almost in lockstep around the world. Growth demands energy which enables more growth. But in the US, that correlation is weakening, even as standards of living rise. Economic growth appears to be decoupling from energy generation

The trend is clear in US electricity data. In the last 20 years, GDP has more than doubled. At the same time, electricity generation has barely budged. Since 1990, electricity production has grown around 40% while US GDP has more than doubled. 

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