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World Economic History Congress

Utrecht, Netherlands, 3rd August,2009

Dr. Roger Fouquet presented the paper "Slow Search for Solutions: Historical Energy Transitions by Sector and Service".

Summary of the paper:
The current focus on a possible transition to a low-carbon economy has created an interest in past experiences. Energy transitions in UK´s rich history offers many lessons. Rather than looking-at the aggregate picture, this paper highlights the importance of investigating individual sectors and services. For each sector and service, energy transitions occurred at different times and at varying rates. In some cases, the search for solutions to technical or institutional issues delayed the energy transition by decades or even centuries. Based on these experiences, a rapid full transition to a low-carbon economy cannot be expected.

World Economic History Congress


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