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Backward into the future: The shift to coal and implications for the next energy transition


  • Allen, Robert C.


This history of the transition from organic to mineral fuels suggests a number of conclusions that may have parallels in the future: People respond to price incentives; science is important but not sufficient; human capital is important; cooperation is as important as competition; path breaking technologies take a long time to mature.

Suggested Citation

  • Allen, Robert C., 2012. "Backward into the future: The shift to coal and implications for the next energy transition," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 17-23.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:50:y:2012:i:c:p:17-23
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.03.020

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allen, Robert C., 2011. "Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199596652.
    2. Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273.
    3. Allen, Robert C., 1983. "Collective invention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, March.
    4. Alessandro Nuvolari, 2004. "Collective invention during the British Industrial Revolution: the case of the Cornish pumping engine," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 28(3), pages 347-363, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ravshonbek Otojanov & Roger Fouquet & Brigitte Granville, 2023. "Factor prices and induced technical change in the industrial revolution," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 76(2), pages 599-623, May.
    2. Fouquet, Roger, 2012. "The demand for environmental quality in driving transitions to low-polluting energy sources," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 138-149.
    3. Shidore, Sarang & Busby, Joshua W., 2019. "What explains India's embrace of solar? State-led energy transition in a developmental polity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 1179-1189.
    4. Rubio-Varas, Mar & Muñoz-Delgado, Beatriz, 2017. "200 years diversifying the energy mix? Diversification paths of the energy baskets of European early comers vs. latecomers," Working Papers in Economic History 2017/01, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
    5. Millot, Ariane & Maïzi, Nadia, 2021. "From open-loop energy revolutions to closed-loop transition: What drives carbon neutrality?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 172(C).
    6. Fouquet, Roger, 2014. "Long run demand for energy services: income and price elasticities over two hundred years," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59070, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Roger Fouquet, 2013. "Long Run Demand for Energy Services: the Role of Economic and Technological Development," Working Papers 2013-03, BC3.
    8. Ruth Winecoff & Michelle Graff, 2020. "Innovation in Financing Energy‐Efficient and Renewable Energy Upgrades: An Evaluation of Property Assessed Clean Energy for California Residences," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2555-2573, December.
    9. Gozgor, Giray & Paramati, Sudharshan Reddy, 2022. "Does energy diversification cause an economic slowdown? Evidence from a newly constructed energy diversification index," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).
    10. Nihal Ahmed & Adnan Ahmed Sheikh & Farhan Mahboob & Muhammad Sibt e Ali & Elżbieta Jasińska & Michał Jasiński & Zbigniew Leonowicz & Alessandro Burgio, 2022. "Energy Diversification: A Friend or Foe to Economic Growth in Nordic Countries? A Novel Energy Diversification Approach," Energies, MDPI, vol. 15(15), pages 1-15, July.
    11. Francisco Chicombo, Adélia Filosa & Musango, Josephine Kaviti, 2022. "Towards a theoretical framework for gendered energy transition at the urban household level: A case of Mozambique," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 157(C).
    12. Ferguson-Cradler, Gregory, 2020. "Ownership in the electricity market: Property, the firm, and the climate crisis," MPIfG Discussion Paper 20/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    13. Zaman, Rafia & Brudermann, Thomas & Kumar, S. & Islam, Nazrul, 2018. "A multi-criteria analysis of coal-based power generation in Bangladesh," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 182-192.
    14. Rubio-Varas, Mar & Muñoz-Delgado, Beatriz, 2019. "Long-term diversification paths and energy transitions in Europe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 158-168.
    15. García-Gusano, Diego & Iribarren, Diego & Dufour, Javier, 2018. "Is coal extension a sensible option for energy planning? A combined energy systems modelling and life cycle assessment approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 413-421.
    16. Agovino, Massimiliano & Bartoletto, Silvana & Garofalo, Antonio, 2019. "Modelling the relationship between energy intensity and GDP for European countries: An historical perspective (1800–2000)," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 114-134.
    17. Fischer-Kowalski, Marina & Rovenskaya, Elena & Krausmann, Fridolin & Pallua, Irene & Mc Neill, John R., 2019. "Energy transitions and social revolutions," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 69-77.

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