Competitive dynamics of energy, environment, and economy in the U.S.

Hsiao-Tien Pao*, Haipeng Allan Chen, Yi Ying Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This paper applies the Lotka-Volterra model to investigate the competitive interactions among energy, environment, and economy (3. Es) in the U.S. The proposed LV-COMSUD (Lotka-Volterra COmpetition Model for SUstainable Development) has satisfactory performance for model fitting and provides a useful multivariate framework to predict outcomes concerning these interactions. Our key findings include a pure competition between emissions and GDP (Gross Domestic Product), neutralisms between renewable and fossil/nuclear energy, and commensalisms between GDP and renewable/fossil energy and between nuclear energy and fossil energy/emissions. These results indicate that renewable/fossil energy use contributes to GDP and interacts indirectly with emissions, that an environmental Kuznets curve exists, and that the amount of produced nuclear energy correlates with emission. The U.S. is dependent on non-clean energy sources and its energy efficiency has room for improvement. The results provide unique insights for policy makers to craft up sustainable economic development plans. Overall, it is suggested that for developed markets such as the U.S., to enhance energy security and mitigate climate changes, improving energy efficiency and developing low-carbon clean energy should be top priorities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7783
Pages (from-to)449-460
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Competitive interaction
  • Energy-environment-economy (3Es)
  • Lotka-Volterra model
  • Sustainable development
  • U.S.

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