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The rise and fall of mineral coal in Uruguay. A historical analysis from the last decades of the 19th century to the present.

ISSNISSN/ISBN: 0212-6109
ISSNYear: 2013
AutorAuthor/s: Román, Carolina , Bertoni, Reto
EditorialEditorial: Revista de Historia Económica-Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History Vol. 31 N°3
Nº of PagesNº of Pages: pp. 459-497

The study of the rise and fall of mineral coal as an energy source can shed light on the characteristics of energy transition in Uruguay. This article presents historical series of coal consumption for Uruguay since the last decades of the 19th century until nowadays (1879-2011). The “coal era” can be placed in the first decades of the 20thcentury. The use of this mineral in four sectors may explain the dynamic of the coal consumption as a result of different trajectories that characterize the Uruguayan energy transition pattern of stops and goes. In addition, the article put forward three factors to explain the decisions to shift from coal to other energy sources: relative prices and freights, technological innovations and institutional aspects.

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