Energy Shocks: Comparative analysis of national responses from 1970 to 2019

Authors: Adam Gallaher*, University of Connecticut, Marcello Graziano , Southern Connecticut State University
Topics: Energy, Political Geography, Historical Geography
Keywords: Energy Transitions, Energy Geography, History, National Comparisons
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 50
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Energy transitions have occurred due to changing energy systems, scale, economics, and energy policy. While all of these elements, either in combination or alone, play a significant role in shifting the portfolio of energy systems, this paper focuses specifically on how energy policy plays a role in energy transitions. Most notably, how the deployment of energy policies in response to energy system shocks can aid in advancing the development and dispersion of renewable energy in the latest energy transition. Throughout history various events have resulted in shocks to energy systems globally, either directly such as the oil crisis of the 1970s, 1990s, and 2000s, or indirectly such as the global financial crisis. Nations most impacted by these events have sought to deploy various energy policies in response, such as energy conservation, domestic stock piling, or exploration of alternative energy sources. This paper aims at exploring responses from Denmark, Germany, The United Kingdom, and The United States from 1970 to 2019. By exploring various energy policies employed after, or in response to energy shocks and electricity production data throughout our timeline, we aim to show that while disruptive at first these shocks can provide ample ground for accelerating the shift to renewable sources that might otherwise have progressed slower. Lessons drawn from history can serve as a model for how nations can plan for a low and zero carbon future.

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