Energy was at the heart of the industrial revolution and oil and electricity helped to shape the 20th Century. Innovation is increasingly recognised as crucial to modern competitiveness. This lecture will explore how and why most economic theory still fails to grasp the central characteristics of industrial innovation, illustrated with respect to energy and climate change, and what this implies for policy.
Drawing on the book Planetary Economics Professor Grubb will offer a wider theoretical framework and explain how this can reshape our view of both the economic and political dimensions of effective policy, including (but not confined to) the energy transition. He will then suggest how the blind spot in traditional economic theory – the “dark matter of economic growth” – has also contributed to the European crisis.
Finally, applying these insights, Professor Grubb will argue that unique characteristics of the energy sector amplify the mutual benefits of pan-European cooperation – suggesting that the emerging EU Energy Union should be expanded beyond the borders of the EU itself, and hence setting out the rationale for a Pan-European Energy Union in the interests of economy, security and geopolitics.
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