Energy Transitions, Then and Now

From a new-ish paper1 on energy transitions, some fascinating data on the share of primary energy consumption by technology in the U.K. from 1500-2000. You can see the slow transition from biomass/food to coal, and then the faster one from coal to oil/natgas, etc. The other thing that struck me was that wind was a larger percentage of primary energy generation in 1700 than it is today.


1 Fouquet R. The slow search for solutions: Lessons from historical energy transitions by sector and service. Energy Policy. 2010. Available at:

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  4. Energy Echelons: Global Average Energy Use/Capita
  5. Rental Nation: Bad For Energy Efficiency


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