Heat, Power and Light


Heat, Power and Light

Revolutions in Energy Services

9781849800075 Edward Elgar Publishing
Roger Fouquet, Associate Professorial Research Fellow, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Publication Date: 2010 ISBN: 978 1 84980 007 5 Extent: 488 pp
Heat, Power and Light is an invaluable and unique contribution to this profoundly important topic.

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What happens when a radically-new fuel or technology transforms the energy system? How does the energy system evolve at different stages of economic development? What are the implications for people’s lives and their environment? Building on an award-winning article, in this exciting book Roger Fouquet investigates the impacts of technological innovations and economic development over the last seven hundred years on our ability to provide heat, power, transport and light. Using a unique data set, collected over a decade, the analysis identifies the forces driving revolutions in energy services. It highlights the tendency of markets to produce ever-cheaper energy services, which in turn incite greater energy consumption. It also examines how these revolutions affect people’s well-being and the environment. The framework, analysis and insights in this book offer an original perspective on future energy markets, transitions to low-carbon economies and strategies for addressing climate change.

Heat, Power and Light is an invaluable and unique contribution to this profoundly important topic. As such it will appeal to a wide audience of energy economists, climate change analysts, policymakers, economic and technology historians and economists more broadly.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book presents a fascinating accumulation of economic “facts” relating to the demand for and the supply of heat, power and light. . .’
– Gay Wenban-Smith, International Energy Law Review

‘Fouquet undertakes a heroic effort to organize and present data on energy prices and usage since the 14th century. He then uses this data as the foundation for a narrative and analysis of changes in energy usage over the long run. . . the sifting and analysis of so many different sources to provide a coherent account will prove useful to those seeking an overview of this important topic, or for those seeking a point of entry to the study of more specific topics. Highly recommended.’
– J.L. Rosenbloom, Choice

‘This is an innovative and important book that stands at the intersection of energy analysis and environmental history. Fouquet’s central theme is that we buy fuels, such as coal, oil or gas, only as a means to an end. That end is initially the provision of energy services, such as a warm house, hot showers, cold beers and driving around. . . Fouquet. . . traces the changes in our use. . . of energy services over the last seven centuries. . . The result has been an utter transformation in our lives… this book, with its copious tables and fascinating graphs, is an essential reference tool for both the energy analyst and the environmental historian.’
– Horace Herring, Environment and History

‘Fouquet has dug widely and deeply into English sources, publications, statistical reconstructions and the best available data sets. Having such long-run quantitative perspectives under one cover is both very useful and quite revealing. Having it analyzed in consistent terms (as changes in per capita use, prices, conversion efficiency and energy intensity) makes it, of course, even more valuable. . . Fouquet has produced an outstanding contribution to our long-run understanding of energy uses.’
– Vaclav Smil, EH.Net

‘Heat, Power and Light represents the output from a very ambitious and successful project. The collection and construction of UK historical energy data will provide an important resource for energy economics researchers for many years to come and, moreover, the analysis should be the foundation of a great deal of future economic analysis of UK energy data. The author is to be applauded.’
– Lester C. Hunt, University of Surrey, UK and editor of The Energy Journal

‘A monumental work of policy-relevant scholarship with magisterial judgments that is a must for anyone interested in energy issues or climate change. The seven-century historical perspective and the focus on energy services provide a depth of understanding that cannot be found anywhere else.’
– Denny Ellerman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US

‘This book is the product of an enormous amount of research into basic price, cost and consumption data for energy services going back many centuries. Roger Fouquet has produced a unique source book of statistical information on energy and energy services that will be of great value to energy economists, to energy researchers and, more generally, to economic historians.’
– Colin Robinson, University of Surrey, UK

‘In this comprehensive book Roger Fouquet from Imperial College investigates the impacts of technological innovations and economic development over the last thousand years on our ability to provide heat, power, transport and light. . . it’s a thoughtful contribution, with some fascinating insights and clear analysis – heat, power and light!’
– RENEW: Technology for a Sustainable Future
Contents: Preface Part I: Introduction 1. The Past, Present and Future of Energy Services 2. Energy Demand, Technological Change and Economic Development 3. Historical Data and Methods Part II: The Past 4. Heating 5. Stationary Power 6. Transport 7. Lighting Part III: Analysis 8. Producing Cheaper Services 9. Consuming More Services 10. External Costs of Cheaper and More Energy Services 11. Policies Influencing the Trends in Energy Services Part IV: The Future 12. Future Trends in Energy Services 13. Policy Discussion Related to Long-Run Energy Services 14. Conclusion References Index
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