Source: adapted from Wrigley, E.A. (2010), Energy and the English industrial revolution, Cambridge University Press.
Annual Energy Consumption in England and Wales, 1560s to 1850s (MJ)
One of the fundamental changes brought by the industrial revolution concerns patterns of energy consumption as a growing amount of work was performed by machines. This energy transition involves a shift to more practical and energy intensive sources. The case of England is illustrative since it was the first nation to undertake an industrial revolution and its related energy transition. While up to the mid 17th century, human, draught animals and firewood were the dominant sources of energy, by the early 19th century to balance completely shifted to coal, a higher density source conveniently available.