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Power to the PeopleEnergy in Europe over the Last Five Centuries$
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Astrid Kander, Paolo Malanima, and Paul Warde

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691143620

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691143620.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter One Introduction
Power to the People

Malanima Paolo

Astrid Kander

Paul Warde

Princeton University Press

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.

Keywords:   energy, Europe, energy consumption, economic development, industrial revolution, Industrial Age, energy transitions, economic efficiency

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