In deterministic systems (single mechanism, an electric motor, electric power station), causality is rigidly defined. In contrast to those, industrial branches should rather be considered as some sort of technological biocoenosis — a community of interacting “organisms” that form a natural technological unit, a technocoenosis. Technocoenoses exhibit feature of self-regulation, those are non-Gaussian systems with weak internal interactions, and are formed in environmental conditions of resources being limited. Therefore, changes in internal or external resources’ accessibility, quantitative and structural, may result in an instability in functioning conditions of an industrial branch.

The structure and rank analysis of energy consumption makes is possible to account for changes taking place in technocoenoses. Such analysis is carried out based on the energy consumption data for at least 5 years, rendered as a static rank distribution.

Within the description of a technocoenosis as a (weak) interaction model, energy consumption of a single object is not an autonomous process. It correlates with the other hierarchically systematized data metrics.

The archetypal analysis of a rank distribution of a technocoenosis (industry branch) consists in ordering its specific elements (the energy consumers: enterprises, organizations, population) in descending order with respect to the energy consumption. Rank H-distribution is then


where r is the object’s rank, W1 is the amount of energy consumed by the primary object, β is the exponent determining the slope of the H-distribution curve (cf. the UN guidelines).

The value of the exponent β reflects the degree of sustainability of the territorial power equipment structure and the stage of its evolution as a technocoenosis. Sustainability of a technocoenosis is assured in the region 0.5 ≤ β ≤ 1.5. Different characteristic regimes are:

  • small β (β ≪ 0.5). Technocoenosis’ decline and decay. Not enough diversified technocoenosis with spontaneously disordered main activity. Environment infrastructure is poor and alternative structure-forming is not developed. That is a clear signal that the principle of evolutionary diversity of species has not been properly implemented in the technocoenosis.
  • big β (β ≫ 1.5). Growth rate in small sub-coenoses is stagnating. There is a great gap between the main cluster of the coenoses and the other coenosis’ environments. (In terms of regional economy, small sub-coenoses: towns of a region, main cluster of the coenosis: the central megalopolis of a region, other coenosis’ environments: other communes (municipalities) of a region).
  • moderately big β (1.5<β<2). Quantitative deviations (“inequality”) are present within a technocoenosis, insufficient quantity and weight of low size subjects and excess of massive subjects.