Professor Paul Warde from the University of East Anglia (Norwich, England) visited Umeå University and CERE and held a five day intensive course "Energy, economy and environment in historical perspective" from October 29th to November 2nd.
(Paul Warde second from the left)
The layout for the course was five lectures in a chronological order, starting with the pre-industrial and organic based energy system and the first steps to changing the energy regimes. This was followed by the breakthrough of the industrial revolution by examining both new inventions and new energy sources.
Paul pointed out that throughout history increased growth has also lead to increased energy efficiency, and hence maybe energy efficiency itself drives growth. Never the less, coal was essential, but the industrial breakthrough was more complex than just a matter of finding new energy sources. At the last lecture Paul discussed the problems that today's Europe is facing with the need to find non-fossil fuel based energy sources. For the next energy transition, Europe is facing three problems that need to be overcome: (i) a much quicker than historically ever achieved change, (ii) with no real consumer-end changes in service and that has (iii)extreme costs associated with it.