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The PIIGS are possibly more reliant on road transport than average, something stemming from geographic location, inappropriate Urban Planning or both.

Or a historic lack of capital to invest in railways when they were fashionable. All those states invested in infrastructure when railways were silly socialism.

Ireland has a crappy railway infrastructure and really great social attitudes to use of public transport: Sam's colleagues in her more status conscious job used to be somewhat horrified that she commuted by rail rather than driving. We've upgraded the existing infrastructure,  but built relatively little - a light transit system in Dublin. There was far more rail fifty years or so ago.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 8th, 2010 at 08:30:40 AM EST
I hinted at this in my last log entry. Note though that Spain has been investing heavily on high speed rail in recent times, what the seems to be lacking in their case is the proper interconnection with France (the Pyrenees are cooperating on that matter).

Just by coincidence, the Spanish government announced yesterday a plan to invest 12 billion euros on railroads:


Spain unveils 17 bln euro infrastructure roadmap

 MADRID, April 7 (Reuters) - Spain unveiled a 17 billion euro ($22.7 billion) infrastructure spending plan on Wednesday, looking to attract private investment to boost its construction sector as it struggles with high unemployment and a huge budget deficit.

The government said 20 percent of the funds would come from the private sector and 80 percent from the Instituto de Credito Oficial (ICO), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and commercial banks.

Spain's largest public-private initiative ever will help maintain public works tenders without the government spending a cent as it cuts spending after its public deficit reached 11.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009.



Vencit omnia veritas.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Apr 8th, 2010 at 10:15:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See also

European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 7 April

Spain hopes electric cars will help jump start future - Cars : europa, europe | euronews
Spain is revving up its green credentials with a plan to encourage electric cars. It wants to see a quarter of a million of them on its roads by 2014, investing 590 million euros in public funds.

Lower off-peak power rates and recharging points in homes, car parks and motorways are on the cards.

...

The socialist government has announced a 20 percent subsidy for electric car purchases, with a 6,000 euro ceiling. The prime minister unveiled the plan within the context of the economic crisis. Spain is one of the EU countries hardest hit.

by Fran


The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 8th, 2010 at 10:40:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As they have been presented by the auto-industry, electric cars do no look like an alternative at all. With two bananas on my pack pockets and 2 litres of water I have longer range on my bike. The figures given for the new Renault Leaf are simply hilarious.

But that's a story for another time.

Vencit omnia veritas.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Apr 8th, 2010 at 12:15:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Should not Italy have decent rail? Unified in 1866 when national rail was a typical unification, infrastructure and military project. And the fascists are famous for their propaganda about making the trains run on time.

Decay during the post wwII maffia period? Any of our Italian ETers that could enlighten us?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 04:49:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's really not that bad any more here in Italy, the trains are on time mostly in my experience, quite clean, comfortable, if blandly utilitarian.

ten years ago it was a national joke.

of course it may be due to the love affair between italians and driving that make the trains a passably relaxed experience, or maybe that the website for booking and getting schedules actually works and that frees up more staff to um, run the system.

before the net, it could take half an hour just to get through to a station master on the phone!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 12:22:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, Irish electrical generation is quite dependent on oil, last I looked.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 8th, 2010 at 08:31:58 AM EST
Irish Electricity Production is far more dependent on gas than oil, although overall, Oil is the most important component of our total energy mix.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 8th, 2010 at 09:31:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Colman and Frank, only 10% of Irish Electricity is generated with Oil; Coal supports 30% and Gas 50%. This seems a typical modern setting without Nuclear, where Coal assures baseload and Gas load balancing. Oil kicks in only during high demand episodes.

Note also that Ireland only produces 10% of Gas it consumes.

Vencit omnia veritas.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Apr 8th, 2010 at 10:06:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The dearth in native gas production is partly caused by the Marathon gas field winding down and a new one off Mayo not being on stream yet.  As we have very little native Coal and declining peat resources, they're not an ideal base load sources.   Virtually all new capacity is coming from wind, with some R&D into wave energy. Provience has claimed significant Oil resources off the south Dublin coast - prompting some wags to proclaim that Northersiders are being discriminated against again.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 9th, 2010 at 10:02:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Although Ireland is similar to other PIIGS countries in having serious financial problems, it is quite different in the sense that - despite everything - we are a net exporter and expect exports to continue to grow rapidly in the next few years.  Our industrial/ post industrial base was very significantly modernised in the Tiger years so that we have most of the worlds leading IT and pharmaceutical companies locating significant operations here.  The relatively high tech and advanced nature of these facilities has allowed them to remain competitive despite our cost base getting out of line more generally.

The reliance on Oil/gas for electricity is partly due to the gas finds off our coast but there is a national target to go 30& renewables by 2020 which seems to be being met ahead of schedule.  Our relatively sparse population density doesn't lend itself to rail although it is regrettable we actually reduced rail freight in recent years.  Undoubtedly high Oil prices have a disproportionate effect on countries like Ireland because of our high Oil/gas and road dependency.  However this effect is dwarfed by the scale of the problems created by our banking sector induced property bubble.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 8th, 2010 at 09:25:15 AM EST
The fact that the PIIGS are most dependent on oil imports among EU nations is interesting. I went back and looked at my old diary Where will Peak Oil hurt the most? by Migeru (May 27th, 2008) to see where the PIIGS featured in that discussion and I found the following:

We see one country from the Horn of Africa, a number of countries from the EU15 (Italy and Germany are not far below that dotted line), the USA, and again Belarus and Tayikistan.
This means that the only PIIGS country that didn't appear among the most vulnerable was Portugal.

Looking at currency reserves was not the right thing to do, as was discussed in that diary's comments and further clarified here. But still, it is interesting that the PIIGS did show up among the most vulnerable countries in my exploratory analysis.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 8th, 2010 at 09:51:06 AM EST
This oil dependence graph brings up a lot of questions. Some interesting correlations should arise between budget deficits and energy deficits, between Nuclear and trade deficits, etc. I just wish the data was easier to obtain. Time permitting I'd like to visit all these matters.

If you want to delve yourself into this, don't hesitate asking for help ;)

Vencit omnia veritas.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Apr 9th, 2010 at 02:47:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To reinforce my earlier point that, unlike the other PIIGS, Ireland has a relatively healthy industrial/exports sector - though a narrowly based one.

Industrial production rises 13.7% in February - The Irish Times - Fri, Apr 09, 2010

Annual industrial production rose 13.7 per cent in February compared to the same month in 2009, the Central Statistics Office said today.

Turnover was 3.6 per cent lower compared with February 2009.

The rise in volume was driven by growth in the production of basic pharmaceutical products and preparations, which rose 33.4 per cent. This was offset by a 32.3 per cent decline in the production of computer, electronic and optical products.

The "modern" sector, which includes high-technology and chemical sectors, gained 18.5 per cent for the month, while the traditional sector rose marginally at 0.5 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted figures show the volume of industrial production for the three-month period to the end of February 2010 was 5.7 per cent higher than the preeceeding quarter.

Turnover in the same period was up 4.3 per cent for manufacturing industries.

"In overall terms, the figures for 2009 weren't too bad all things considered, even though it was the `multi-national' sector that was once again the main output driver. However, given the positive start to 2010, there is every chance that we will see a healthy average increase in manufacturing output this year," said Bloxham's chief economist Alan McQuaid.

"The industrial output data are consistent with Ireland's external trade figures, as they clearly show a performance which is better than the global average, but in effect completely driven by a healthy chemicals sector, which can be quite volatile at the best of times. Chemicals account for over 50 per cent of Ireland's merchandise exports, and the fact that the products produced in this industry tend to be less cyclical than other sectors is a huge plus in times of recession."



notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 9th, 2010 at 09:53:43 AM EST
Frank, in your view what's at the root of Ireland's budget woes?

Vencit omnia veritas.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Apr 9th, 2010 at 02:46:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Idiot taxation policy: the tax system is based on skimming money off the property bubble.

Whoops.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 04:41:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what taxation system would you advocate for Ireland?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 07:54:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What, Georgism, surely?

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 02:06:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Something broadly based, including taxing things like corporate profits. I've never quite worked out what good the pretend corporates based here are doing us.

Regardless, basing your tax take on property building and transactions is not a good plan, was not a good plan.

The current plan is to cut spending and increase taxes and service charges, because a deflationary spiral will increase the tax take or something. <shrug> Fucked if I know how that's meant to work, but it makes the Commission, the ECB and the financial markets sort of happy.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 04:47:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, we'll end up paying €50 Billion plus for toxic bank loans (on property) and a similar amount to recapitalise banks busted by property loans.  That adds up to c. 60% of GDP's worth of public money spent on covering the losses of private property speculators.

So the first problem is ideological: why are taxpayers being made liable for private losses - and thus also removing all semblance of moral hazard.

The second problem is also ideological - we tax income and spending, but not property and speculation - so guess where all the money goes, and why property bubbles ultimately become unsustainable - they aren't related to incomes (and ability to pay rents/mortgages) or real economic value, make Ireland uncompetitive, and unbalance the economy to the point where construction industry becomes 30% of GDP.

The third problem is also ideological. We didn't believe in sufficiently regulating "the markets" when the markets where preciously gaming a system of trust on which we all depended.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 05:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"we'll end up paying €50 Billion plus for toxic bank loans (on property) and a similar amount to recapitalise banks busted by property loans."

Frank you seem to be speaking about the future, I was asking about the 7% deficit in 2009. I doubt those 50 billion € will come out directly from the budget and all during the same year.

Vencit omnia veritas.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 04:38:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The deficit in 2009 was largely caused by a huge hole in our tax take created by the property bust.  The Government had become very dependent on stamp duties and capital gains taxes levied on property transactions and when that market cratered, so did the tax take.  In addition the "feel good factor" previously created by rising house values (and shares) and a buoyant jobs market suddenly disappeared and consumer confidence and expenditure dived - also effecting the more general tax take.

Now, of course, all these factors are compounded by the Government having to introduce swinging capital and ongoing expenditure reductions to try and rein in the deficit.

Basically the whole edifice had been built on the assumption of ever rising property prices with, at most, a "soft landing" or mild correction every now and then.  As you know, the "market is always right".

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 05:55:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, of course, all these factors are compounded by the Government having choosing to introduce swinging capital and ongoing expenditure reductions to try and rein in the deficit.

Fixed that for you.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 06:04:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think budget deficits equivalent to 12%+ of GDP are sustainable except in an emergency and for a relatively short period.  Not only do you have the increased servicing cost, but the interest rates demanded by sovereign debt markets become unsustainable - as in the case of Greece.

It is, of course, arguable that the Government should have gone down the Greek route and kept incurring that level of borrowing in the hope that a quicker recovery in the economy and tax take would have enabled us to reduce the deficit at less social cost in due course.

However my point is that we should never have nationalised private debts in the first place.  We need a functioning banking system, but that need did not have to be fulfilled through bailing out existing bondholders in exiting banks.  The banks, especially Anglo - should have been allowed go bust on a Friday evening and reconstituted as new entities the following Monday.  

As David McWilliams has argued, banks go bust all the time, debts are restructured all the time, and there is no reason why such defaults should have had any longer term effect on Ireland's Sovereign debt rating.

Indeed, as we started out from a relatively low level of National debt (c. 28% of GDP at its lowest) 12% budget deficits would have been sustainable for a few years if we hadn't invented NAMA or bailed out the private banks.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 07:07:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but fixing the budget deficit requires fixing the tax system, not cutting our already low levels of public spending as prescribed by the Dublin Consensus. It's not obvious that the cuts they've instituted will make more than a very small difference to the deficit (according to ESRI figures interpreted by the progressiveeconomy people) because of the knock-on effects on tax income and the general effect on the economy of speeding deflation. It's not about deficit reduction, it's about looking good to the markets.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 07:27:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Colman:
It's not about deficit reduction, it's about looking good to the markets.

Agreed

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 07:47:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shorter Dublin (Washington, London, Athens...) Consensus

Markets: Help! We're broke!

Governments: Here's a bailout...

Markets: Oooh - just look at all the new public debt. We're not having that. You might default on us.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 07:40:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is a delicious irony given that it was market driven private entities which threatened failure and (alledgedly) necessitated bail-out in the first place.

I cannot help feeling that "the market" is looking on in shopcked bemusement that we are bailing out the banks in the first place.  "We can't trust people who are that stupid now can we"?

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 07:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Coming from Complexity/Emergence disciplines, I'd usually dismiss such inferences at face value, the market being an emergent environment by excellence.

But when it is ok to run 50% deficits at one side of the Atlantic but it is not ok to run 12% deficits at the other end, I must concede that something's wrong...

Vencit omnia veritas.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 04:24:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who is running a current budget deficit equivalent to 50% of GDP?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 04:54:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
12% deficits refers to annual deficit, no?

50% refers to total debt to GDP.

by Upstate NY on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 09:11:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think budget deficits equivalent to 12%+ of GDP are sustainable except in an emergency and for a relatively short period.  Not only do you have the increased servicing cost, but the interest rates demanded by sovereign debt markets become unsustainable - as in the case of Greece.

Frank this is objectively true in our case in the Eurogroup. But for a state with its own currency such deficits can be run for "long" periods without defaulting. First of all you have to continuously depreciate your currency so that rolling over debt doesn't kill you. Secondly, you set up some sweet rates on government bonds to seduce local investors, keep the debt in borders. Watch the US closely for something along these lines.

There's an obviously problem, at some point the folk may become nervous about an ever depreciating currency. After that it's game over.

Vencit omnia veritas.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 04:20:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How much debt is Ireland taking on from the banks again? And what is the % to GDP?
by Upstate NY on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 09:09:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A state with its own currency doesn't even need to issue debt. Running a large unfunded deficit probably has some drawbacks, but I suspect they are similar in nature to the unconstrained money creation by the financial sector that prevailed before the crisis.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Tue Apr 13th, 2010 at 04:45:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to me that terrain and geography matters a lot.

I've driven a lot in Greece, Italy and Spain. Italy and Spain are big countries with very diversified terrain. I once spent 36 hours on a train from Padova to Sicily (and yes, it broke down a number of times, but was not stopped for more than an hour at any given time). Greece is pretty mountainous and Spain is just big.

by Upstate NY on Fri Apr 9th, 2010 at 01:35:30 PM EST
That's an important observation. Spain and Portugal have the Pyrenees between them and the centre of Europe. Italy has the Alps and a very mountainous north. Greece is sort of an island with the Balcans in-between. Ireland is a real island. This has to be a factor too.

Note though that peripheral states (e.g. Estonia) and Switzerland have similar problems but do not suffer from the same pathology.


Vencit omnia veritas.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Apr 9th, 2010 at 02:41:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then you'd have to look at Austria because it's all Alps out there :P

And, lo and behold, Austria is the next most oil-dependent country in the EU, after the PIIGS.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 03:35:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Luis de Sousa:
Italy has the Alps and a very mountainous north.

the appenines, while being a lot less formidable than the alps, stretch down beyond the north, and definitely make travel more energy intensive.

nothing more and better branch lines couldn't solve though.

as for energy deficit, i have often heard Italy imports 75% of its electricity, the daily hemorrhage of capital should have people in the streets, but it doesn't, unless you count beppe grillo's five star movement.

maybe this is improving as i am seeing more solar PV panels popping up all over, thanks to trying to keep up with the EU carbon reduction commitments.

on a more disturbing note, there used to be little signs by the roads entering many towns with a white dove on them, stating the community's opposition to nuclear power. they were one of the first things i noticed when coming here 18 years ago.

they seem to be disappearing in this area.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 12:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain is not just big, also very mountainous, though mountain ranges tend to run East/West so that only North/South travel should be seriously impeded.  But the mountain ranges do reach all the way to the coast.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 03:38:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Comments - What makes them PIIGS?
Without having hard numbers, this reliance on Oil is mainly due to the Transport sector, given that all the PIIGS have been modernizing their Electricity infrastructure and consolidating balanced energy mixes there.

How about heating? Before the 70ies oil crises Sweden had lots of oil heating. Sweden of course has large heating needs, though countries with lots of heat tends to have poor insulation making their heating needs larger when it is cold.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 05:24:45 AM EST
Because of the milder weather, heating technology and energy-saving habits around the Mediterranean basin are uniformly poor.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 05:33:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the older houses here are often well insulated against excessive summer heat with thick stone walls.

large families helped each other stay warm huddled round the fire in winter. august afternoons can be merciless.

the winters... what tao said about PT. lots of room for improvement there.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 12:49:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same thing for the South of France: thick stone walls (or brick walls in the Toulouse region). Those old house are delightfully cool during hot summer afternoons.

That's for old houses; more recent construction hasn't been so careful, especially during the years when cheap and abundant energy was the prevailing paradigm. Special mention to the buildings and houses built during the 60s and 70s that should be just demolished...

by Bernard on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 07:41:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Special mention to the buildings and houses built during the 60s and 70s that should be just demolished...

In my experience they do that all by themselves.

by njh on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 09:18:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's odd because good insulation also keeps things cooler in summer.
by Upstate NY on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 10:33:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In that regard, I haven't been impressed at all with house insulation in the American South West. Neither in Northern California, by the way.

There's a lot of room for improvement, especially in places with extreme temperature swings like desert areas.

by Bernard on Sun Apr 11th, 2010 at 07:44:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I live mostly and Liverpool, UK. But spend quite some time in my original country (Portugal). I've had houses in other places in the UK and in NL.

The winter in Portugal is extremely uncomfortable in-house: all the houses that I know require extensive amount of heating and are still cold. Contrast this with my place in Liverpool: DOES NOT NEED WARMING IN WINTER AS LONG AS I KEEP CLOTHES ON.

Granted, this is one anecdotal example (and I can think of cold homes in the UK), but I think it honestly reflects the reality: Much energy, wealth (and comfort) escapes through the (uninsulated) windows and doors in PT.

Ah... and don't get me started with cars. I've read somewhere (lost reference, sorry) about something like having the biggest number of cars per capita in Europe for PT. Normally this goes with a justification of "public transport is bad". Who had endured the public transport in London versus Lisbon knows that, at least where most people live, this is utter bull. It is mainly a status symbol, and a symbol of not being prepared to do anything for the common good.

by t-------------- on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 11:08:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Generally speaking this doesn't show up in the numbers. While it is true that building practices are not as good in these states, the heating season is much shorter. Cooling is much more of a problem I'd say.

I think I may be able to distil some numbers on this matter to get a clearer picture.

Vencit omnia veritas.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 04:34:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be interesting to have some numbers on this. I've read somewhere (unfortunately lost origin) that the energy spent/lost on buildings (all: heating and cooling) in Southern Europe, was massive.

I would be nice to have a quantitative grip on how much energy is lost.

by t-------------- on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 11:18:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did some googling and found this:

EarthTrends: Data Tables - Energy and Resources

Energy and Resources
DATA TABLES
Select a data table from the list.
Energy Consumption by Sector 2005

The "residential" category should give some clues. Though the tables are in total energy/country and then divided in percentage of that total. So to compare one would need to get the absolute number for residential and divide by population to get residential/capita. And it is getting late in Sweden so I will not get the spreadsheet out now.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Apr 12th, 2010 at 04:43:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This relation seems to be interesting as a correlation, probably signaling a general lack of planning, but I don't see why one should lead to the other.

If anything there should be a relation between the country's external debt and the energy mix. The PIIGS are PIIGS because of their state budget deficit.. and it is not the state that consumes the oil. Moreover, Spain had a budget surplus in the last years, today's deficit is simply conjectural - a the oil-dependence is not.

by tanas on Wed Apr 14th, 2010 at 01:38:23 PM EST
Welcome to ET, tanas!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Wed Apr 14th, 2010 at 02:44:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]