The issue of sustainable development and sustainability has been analyzed in theory and application from different perspectives (Pearce, Warford 1993; Dasgupta 2007; Tvaronavicius, Tvaronaviciene 2008; Sobotka, Rolak 2009). Zavadska and Antucheviciene (2006) defined a set of indicators in the multicriteria analysis for a rational redevelopment of derelict immovable property from the perspective of sustainable development that includes environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability. Wegscheider and Sabolovic (2006) underlined the importance of a bio-based economy with nonfood bio-based products. Kryk (2009) evaluated the implementation of the sustainable development concept and effectiveness of environmental protection policy during the economic transformation, European Union (EU) membership and globalization process of the Polish economy. Ighodaro (2010) found the existence of a long-run relationship between energy consumption and economic growth using the Johansen co-integration technique, but the causality depends on the variables used. Electricity consumption and gas utilization are found to determine economic growth, while economic growth determines domestic crude oil production. Chen (2009) investigated causalities between price competition, investment in clean production technologies in the presence of environmental concerns, and consumers' willingness to pay an extra premium for green eco-labelling products and systems in the market to reduce environmental impacts of consumption due to the environmental attributes of green products.
Economic efficiency, efficient energy consumption, and sustainable economic development are objectives which can be in a collision of different interests. The business interests of energy suppliers can be in a conflict with efficient energy consumption and with development of an alternative energy production and use, particularly from renewable sources of energy, which have impacts on the environment and competitiveness (Nordhaus 1994; Filbeck, Gorman 2004; Stern 2007; Wagner et al. 2007).
Burinskiene and Rudzkiene (2007) provide a literature review dealing with economic, ecological and social components of sustainable development with analysis focusing on the aggregated indicators on air pollution variation, income, energy consumption and selected social indicators of national residents. In the literature there exists a recognition of the need for environmental management and sustainable development (Roome 2001; Schaltegger, Synnestvedt 2002; Li et al. 2009), which is beyond the narrow boundaries of an enterprise (Sinding 2000), by considering the sustainable component in economic growth (Priemus 1994; Ginevicius et al. 2008). In this development process there are important positive effects from technological changes and the development of sustainable technologies (Weaver et al. 2000), strategies and management of economic-ecological sustainable development of industries with negative impacts on the environment and sustainable development (Frosch, Gallopoulos 1989).
Moreover, the implications of the global warming and climate change have become one of the most crucial and challenging questions for sustainable economic and environmental development. Due to this, these subject areas have become important for research and policy questions in different sciences (e.g. European Commission 2003, 2008; Eydeland, Wolyniec 2003). The economics and management of climate change (e.g. Nordhaus 1994; Stern 2007; Wagner et al. 2007) and sustainable economic development have become a constituent part of different documents, global, regional and national policy agendas. These subject areas of the global warming and climate change and their different implications are also causing changes in energy consumption, changing economic efficiency and sustainability, which motivated our research. We focus on the analysis of the causalities between the intensity in energy consumption and economic efficiency and their implications for long-term sustainable economic development. …