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Industry Strategies for Energy Transition in the Wake of the Oil Crisis
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
Luleå Tekniska Universitet.
2014 (English)In: Business and Economic History On-Line, ISSN 1941-7349, Vol. 12, 1-18 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper employs the Swedish pulp and paper sector in the 1970s and 1980s as a case study to explore industry strategies for accomplishing energy transition in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. Over this period, the use of fossil fuels was reduced by 70 percent within the sector. The lion’s share of the reduction was achieved by the substitution of biofuels for oil. Besides cutting the cost of energy production, this substitution also resulted in significant environmental improvements. Substituting biofuels for oil proved to be the most reasonable way to decrease the use of oil, even though alternatives such as coal were considered. Initially, reductions in oil consumption and improvements in energy conservation were accomplished by relatively small measures, but there was a great need for long-term R&D to push technology development further. Inter-firm and state-firm collaborations therefore became strategically important. The strategies for substitution further interacted strongly with institutional changes in the energy policy field, the ongoing “greening” of the industry, as well as an urgent need to enhance international competitiveness. Our study concludes that the oil crises enforced more sustainable production in a dynamic way, where government strategies to support and push technology development further played a central role.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 12, 1-18 p.
Keyword [en]
Oil Crisis, Energy Transition, Pulp and Paper, Sweden.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-98947OAI: diva2:784313
Business History Conference 2014, Frankfurt, Germany 2014.
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P10-00997:1
Available from: 2015-01-29 Created: 2015-01-29 Last updated: 2015-03-12Bibliographically approved

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Bergquist, Ann-Kristin
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