Galvin - Economic Inequality and Energy Consumption in Developed Countries

Galvin - Economic Inequality and Energy Consumption in Developed Countries

How Extremes of Wealth and Poverty in High Income Countries Affect CO2 Emissions and Access to Energy

1st Edition - October 25, 2019

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  • Editor: Ray Galvin
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128176740
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128176757

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Inequality and Energy: How Extremes of Wealth and Poverty in High Income Countries Affect CO2 Emissions and Access to Energy challenges energy consumption researchers in developed countries to reorient their research frameworks to include the effects of economic inequality within the scope of their investigations, and calls for a new set of paradigms for energy consumption research. The book explores concrete examples of energy deprivation due to inequality, and provides conceptual tools to explore this in relation to other issues regarding energy consumption. It thereby urges that energy consumption approaches be updated for a world of increasing inequality. Extreme economic inequality has increased within developed countries over the past three decades. The effects of inequality are now seen increasingly in health, housing affordability, crime and social cohesion. There are signs it may even threaten democracy. Researchers are also exploring its effects on energy consumption. One of their key findings is that less privileged groups have lost consistent access to basic energy services like warm homes and affordable transport, leading to huge disparities of climate damaging emissions between rich and poor.

Key Features

  • Provides overwhelming evidence of the persistent and increasing income inequality and wealth inequality in developed countries over the past three decades
  • Showcases recent empirical work that explores correlates of this inequality with energy consumption behavior and some of the key problems of access to adequate energy services
  • Shows the connections between these findings and the existing ways of researching energy consumption behavior and policy


Graduate students and above in the area of energy consumption research, especially from the social science and economic perspectives. Policymakers seeking information for policy interventions including fiscal changes. A wider academic audience, namely those interested in inequality issues who may not necessarily be familiar with energy consumption issues. Think tanks and NGOs who are concerned about social effects of economic inequality

Table of Contents

  • PART 1 Theory and concepts: Bringing economic inequality into energy research

    CHAPTER 1 Recent increases in inequality in developed

    Ray Galvin

    CHAPTER 2 What is money? And why it matters for social science in energy research

    Ray Galvin

    CHAPTER 3 Asymmetric structuration theory: A sociology for an epoch of extreme economic inequality

    Ray Galvin

    CHAPTER 4 Economic inequality, energy justice and the meaning of life

    Ray Galvin

    PART 2 Empirical findings: Energy and economic inequality in practice

    CHAPTER 5 Energy poverty: Understanding and addressing systemic inequalities

    Lucie Middlemiss

    CHAPTER 6 Housing tenure and thermal quality of homes—How home ownership affects access to energy services

    Nicola Terry

    CHAPTER 7 Cold homes and Gini coefficients in EU Countries

    Ray Galvin

    CHAPTER 8 Why are women always cold? Gendered realities of energy injustice

    Minna Sunikka-Blank

    CHAPTER 9 Inequality and renewable electricity support in the European Union

    Lawrence Haar

    CHAPTER 10 Energy poverty research: A perspective from the poverty side

    Ray Galvin

    PART 3 Reflections

    CHAPTER 11 Sustainable energy transition and increasing complexity: Trade-offs, the economics perspective and policy implications

    Reinhard Madlener

    CHAPTER 12 Can economic inequality be reduced? Challenges and signs of hope in 2019

    Danny Dorling

Product details

  • No. of pages: 360
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2019
  • Published: October 25, 2019
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128176740
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128176757

About the Editor

Ray Galvin

Ray Galvin’s research over the past 10 years has focused on energy consumption behaviour and policy, including their social and economic dimensions. More recently he has been exploring issues of economic inequality and how this affects access to people’s energy services. His academic background is in engineering and social psychology, with interests in economics, philosophy and social theory. His research skills are interdisciplinary, including qualitative and quantitative research methods, statistical analysis and a range of types of field work.

Affiliations and Expertise

School of Business and Economics/E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Future Consumer Energy Needs and Behavior, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany

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  • LawrenceHaar Tue Dec 24 2019

    Inequality and Energy

    An excellent collection of readings on the impact of energy policy upon society. I particularly found useful and interesting Chapter 9 concerning the regressive impact of supporting renewable energy. As I have learned, the burden of renewable support falls upon the poor.