Conference's details

Videoconference only


Energy transitions of the past, the present and the future: beyond technological change

Mar Rubio-Varas, Department of Economics, Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA), Pamplona, Spain

Date (d/m/y) | time

09/01/2023 | 14h00 - 15h00


Energy transitions affect how we obtain, transform and enjoy energy. In recent years, the concept itself has evolved. It began as the object of study of energy historians, verifying the transformations that occurred in the energy systems of the past as a response to techno-economic forces of change. It has became a concept that defines objective on itself: that is, to achieve the elimination of fossil fuels from the energy matrix. A rapid change towards a low-carbon energy system will face, in addition to major technological challenges, socio-technical challenges that will be crucial in its destiny. The solutions cannot be merely technological. The energy transition we are facing today is fundamentally affected by issues that belong to the social sciences’ realm.

Brief biography

I am Profesor of Economic History at the Economics Department of Universidad Publica de Navarra (UPNA) and Director of the Institute for Advanced Research in Business and Economics (INARBE). My research covers areas of Economic and Business History, Energy Economics and Environmental Economics. PhD from the London School of Economics (UK), master from the same institution and graduate in Economics from the University Carlos III of Madrid. My academic training was completed a year a Fulbright Research Scholar in the Department of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley. My research interests focus on the long-term relationships between energy consumption and the economy, also covering aspects of energy dependence, the transition to a low carbon economy and the water-energy nexus. Over the past decade, nuclear energy has been the main focus of my research. I have taken part in research consortiums funded by the EU (Horizon2020/Euratom and 6th Framework Program) and the European Science Foundation, among others. My most recent publications include articles in, Ecological Economics the Journal of Contemporary History, Energy Journal, Energy Policy, Business History and Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. I am also co-editor of the books about the The Economic History of Nuclear Energy in Spain, and Engaging the Atom.

Helpful reading

The Economic History of Nuclear Energy in Spain, Governance, Business and Finance, M.d.Mar Rubio-Varas, Joseba De la Torre, Palgrave Studies in Economic History, Palgrave Macmillan Cham, 2017. Learn more

Engaging the Atom, The History of Nuclear Energy and Society in Europe from the 1950s to the Present, Arne Kaijser, Markku Lehtonen, Jan-Henrik Meyer, and Mar Rubio-Varas, Energy and Society Series, West Virginia University Press, December 2021. Learn more

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