The energy consumption of Paris and its supply areas from the eighteenth century to the present

Abstract : Since the eighteenth century and the industrial revolution, cities have experienced great changes in their metabolism, and particularly in their energy consumption: transitions from one energy source to another, growing per capita consumption, and total consumption to cite but a few. These changes also impact urban energy supply areas and supply distance. This paper estimates Paris's energy demand in both final and primary terms since the eighteenth century and gives an illustration of long-term socio-ecological interactions in an interdisciplinary perspective, connecting energy flow analysis, and historical research. It gives an overview of energy supply areas and assesses the distance between supply sites and the city. Paris's annual total energy requirement (TER) was about 19 GJ per capita at the beginning of the eighteenth century and reached 30 GJ per capita in 1800; the supply area remained nearly the same with an average supply distance (Davg) of 200 km. During the nineteenth century, Paris's population increased fivefold, and energy transitioned from biomass to fossil fuel. Per capita TER remained stable, whereas Paris's supply area moved progressively toward coal basins, in connection with the tremendous change in transport systems. As a consequence, the Davg grew to 270 km around 1870. During the twentieth century, and especially since the Interwar period, per capita TER increased considerably (to 26 GJ/cap/year in 1910, 47 GJ/cap/year in 1946 and 126 GJ/cap/year in 2006). The internationalization of the energy supply and the shift to petroleum and natural gas also increased the remoteness of the supply sites: the Davg equaled 3850 km in 2006.
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Soumis le : vendredi 5 avril 2013 - 14:21:57
Dernière modification le : jeudi 11 janvier 2018 - 06:19:08

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Eunyhe Kim, Sabine Barles. The energy consumption of Paris and its supply areas from the eighteenth century to the present. Regional Environmental Change, Springer Verlag, 2012, 12 (2), pp.295-311. ⟨10.1007/s10113-011-0275-0⟩. ⟨hal-00808441⟩

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