This book explores the role that energy has played in the economic history of Europe, highlighting the link between energy consumption and economic development. Using three industrial revolutions as the organizing principle, it shows that the path of the modern economy has not been a straightforward story of a constant rate of increase in the use of energy. Instead, the overall trajectory of energy use within Europe follows a logistic S-shaped curve. Three phases can be identified: the first phase, 1500–1800, was marked by little growth in overall energy consumption; the second phase, 1800–1970, is the Industrial Age, which saw explosive expansion in energy use, except during the World Wars and interwar period; the third period, 1970–2008, was marked by stabilization in energy consumption per capita. Based on these developments, the book considers the drivers of energy transitions as well as the economic efficiency of energy use.
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