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Long run trends in energy services, 1300-2000

Fouquet, R. and Pearson, Peter J. G. 2006. Long run trends in energy services, 1300-2000. Presented at: 3rd World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists, Kyoto, Japan, 3-7 July 2006.

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Over the last five centuries, industrialised societies have experienced major technological innovation, mass production of equipment, expansion of energy infrastructures and networks and falling costs of fuels. This has meant cheaper heating, power, transport and lighting. This paper presents evidence on the decline in the cost of these energy services and the associated rise in energy service use, from the fourteenth century to the present day, in what was to become the United Kingdom. For most of the services (i.e. heat, power, transport and lighting), there was an upward trend in average energy prices during the second-half of the nineteenth century and much of the twentieth century. During the period, energy systems were dramatically altered with large scale substitution towards more expensive but higher ‘quality’ fuels. From the beginning of the nineteenth century on, though, the average efficiency for energy services always improves. This means that, since 1750, apart from a brief period of stagnation in the first half of the nineteenth for power and transport, Britain experienced consistently declining prices of energy services. We also found that, since the Industrial Revolution, demand for power, transport and to a less extent lighting appear to be inelastic. However, in the last fifty years, power and transport demand have become far more sensitive to declining prices and rising income levels.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
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Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:32

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