The other Side of the Industrial Transition: Wood in a Mineral Energy Regime

In the political and academic debate on the ecological crisis, a key theme is that of the energy transition. Recent studies have shown that to resolve the environmental problems caused by the current industrial energy regime, understanding how to move away from fossil fuel-based systems risks becoming a more complex challenge than developing alternative energy sources. However, research analysing the development of this energy regime during the industrial transition has concentrated on the introduction and spread of new energy sources and materials (fossil fuels, metals), paying scant attention to the dynamics of the pre-existing resources. This project aims to study the industrial transition through the most important pre-industrial resource: wood. The chosen case studies are from the Alpine chain, one of the main sources of wood supply in modern Europe. The forest resources and the changing criteria for their use will prove a useful standpoint from which to observe the evolution of the socio-ecological dynamics, both within the Al-pine region and between this region and the neighbouring urban areas, during the industrialisation process (ca. 1860-1960).

Date: 2020-2021