1st Edition

Economic History of the European Energy Industry Lighting up Western Europe, 19th to 21st centuries

    256 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Global climate change and the war in Ukraine have put energy back on the agenda for Europe in a way that has not been seen since the oil crisis of the 1970s. But the economics and business of supplying energy to Europe has a long and rich history going back to the 19th century. This book explores changes in energy markets, strategies, firms and investments during the 19th and 20th centuries. The primary focus is on manufactured gas - the gas that was initially produced from coal distillation until new ways of manufacturing gas emerged after World War II.

    The expert contributors to this volume draw on their extensive research and utilise primary sources to explore a wide range of issues including technological adaptation, market regulation, energy investments (particularly the role of foreign capital), gas consumption and supply issues. The case studies are particularly drawn from Spain, France and Italy but the authors provide a comparative and global perspective to consider the wider context. The volume closes with an epilogue which brings the story into the present day to consider current issues affecting gas markets in the EU including war, geostrategy and pipelines.

    This book will be of interest to readers in economic history, business history, energy history, the history of public utilities and modern European history more broadly.

    1. Introduction

    Alberte Martínez-López, Jesús Mirás-Araujo and Nuria Rodríguez-Martín

    2. The European energy transitions

    Nuno L. Madureira.

    3. The emergence of a competitor: The impact of the development of electricity on the gas sector through Le Gaz Journal in the last third of the 19th century

    José Joaquín Luque García and Alberte Martínez-López

    4. Gas and electricity in Spain, between competition and complementarity (1880-1936)

    Joan Carles Alayo-Manubens and Francesc X. Barca-Salom

    5. The rivalry between gas and electricity in France and Spain through advertising and marketing (1890-1936)

    Antonio Rafael Fernández-Paradas  and Nuria Rodríguez-Martín.  

    6. The withdrawal of foreign capital in Spain's gas industry in the first third of the 20th century

    María Vázquez-Fariñas, Mariano Castro-Valdivia and Juan Manuel Matés-Barco 

    7. The energy market during the Depression: gas and electricity in Spain and France in the 1930s

    Mercedes Fernández-Paradas, Carlos Larrinaga Rodríguez and Antonio Jesús Pinto Tortosa.  

    8. The impact of World War II on gas consumption in Western Europe

    Mercedes Fernández-Paradas, Alberte Martínez-López and Jesús Mirás-Araujo.

    9. Iberian island rather than a peninsula? Gas pipelines between France and Spain since c. 1959: failures and achievements

    Jesús M. Valdaliso, Patricia Suárez and Carlos Alvarado-García.

    10. Gas supply to France and Italy in the second half of the twentieth century

    Jean-Pierre Williot and Andrea Giuntini.

    11. The Redevelopment and Repurposing of Historic Gas Site

    Russell Thomas.

    12. Epilogue - EU, war and energy: geostrategy and gas pipelines

    Pere-A. Fàbregas.



    Alberte Martínez-López is Professor of Economic History at the University of A Coruña (Spain), where he coordinates the Business History Study Group. Jesús Mirás-Araujo is Senior Lecturer of Economic History at the University of A Coruña. Associate Editor of the International Journal of Economics and Business Modelling, and previously member of the Editorial Board of Transportes, Servicios y Telecomunicaciones. Nuria Rodríguez-Martín is a Lecturer in Modern History of Spain at the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain).