Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research

No 2008/12: Energy transitions in Europe: 1600-2000

Astrid Kander (), Paolo Malanima () and Paul Warde ()
Additional contact information
Astrid Kander: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: PO Box 117, Sölvegatan 16, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Paolo Malanima: Institute of Studies on Mediterranean Societies, Postal: L'Istituto di Studi sulle Società del Mediterraneo, Via Pietro Castellino 111, 80131 Napoli
Paul Warde: University of East Anglia, Postal: Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK

Abstract: The paper focuses on energy transitions in Europe over the last four centuries. Special attention is given to the models of theoretical explanations for the historical energy transitions and how these may be empirically assessed. The twin model of serial substitutions (supply side) and energy ladder (demand side) does not provide enough of an economic perspective. It is argued that a more evolutionary perspective is necessary, such as the development block model. The paper shows some transition results from a recently established database with long time series data on energy for Western Europe (different sources of energy) and compares transitions across countries, exemplified by the wood to coal transition in England and Sweden.

Keywords: energy; coal; historical transition; England; Sweden

JEL-codes: O30

23 pages, December 1, 2008

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200812_Kander_et_al.pdf PDF-file 

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