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Transforming the Twentieth Century: Volume 2: Technical Innovations and Their Consequences$
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Vaclav Smil

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195168755.001.0001

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Energy Conversions:

Energy Conversions:

Growth and Innovation

(p.27) 2 Energy Conversions:
Transforming the Twentieth Century: Volume 2: Technical Innovations and Their Consequences

Vaclav Smil (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Our civilization is based on massive consumption of fossil fuels. This chapter begins by examining technical advances of energy industries, before turning to energy transitions and the process of decarbonization of global energy supply. The second section deals with electricity production in general, and with nuclear generation (as well as nuclear weapons) in particular. The last section traces the invention and deployment of the only two new prime movers introduced during the 20th century: gas turbines and rocket engines.

Keywords:   fossil fuels, energy industries, energy transitions, decarbonization, electricity, nuclear generation, nuclear weapons, gas turbines, rocket engines

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