Backward into the future

The shift to coal and implications for the next energy transition

Robert (Bob) Allen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    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. The future, however, will not - and should not! - be a replay of the past. One of the greatest differences is the externality issues raised by global warming. The choice of fuels and technologies has ramifications far beyond the profit and loss statements of the people deciding them. In that case, decentralized decision making will not reach a desirable overall result. Planning and coordination are essential to tackle these problems.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)17-23
    Number of pages7
    JournalEnergy Policy
    Volume50
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

    Fingerprint

    Coal
    coal
    human capital
    Global warming
    energy
    global warming
    incentive
    Profitability
    Minerals
    Decision making
    History
    decision making
    Planning
    mineral
    history
    co-operation
    co-ordination
    planning
    loss
    profit

    Keywords

    • Coal
    • Energy transition
    • History

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Energy(all)
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

    Cite this

    Backward into the future : The shift to coal and implications for the next energy transition. / Allen, Robert (Bob).

    In: Energy Policy, Vol. 50, 01.11.2012, p. 17-23.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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