Developing an electricity satellite account (ELSA) : an application to Scotland, UK

Allan, Grant J and Connolly, Kevin and McIntyre, Stuart G (2021) Developing an electricity satellite account (ELSA) : an application to Scotland, UK. Economic Systems Research, 33 (1). pp. 47-66. ISSN 0953-5314 (

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Within the system of national accounts the electricity sector is typically reported as a single entry representing generation, transmission, distribution and trade. The ways in which these components interact with the economy differ greatly, a feature lost within the standard accounting framework. In this paper we propose an Electricity Satellite Account (ELSA) approach to better understand the linkages between the electricity sector and economy, with a particular focus on generation technologies. In developing this framework, we draw parallels with Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSAs). To illustrate the practical steps in constructing ELSAs, we develop an ELSA for Scotland for 2012, and show how the ELSA framework gives an improved understanding of the economic contribution of the electricity sector, which is critical in improving the usefulness of such accounts for climate, energy, and economic policy.